Friendly’s holds day-long fundraiser for Holyoke fire victims

20% of day's sales being donated to Holyoke Fire Relief Fund

HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) – Even before Holyoke firefighters put out the fire that destroyed an apartment building on North East Street on New Year’s Day, Mayor Alex Morse had created a fire relief fund for the 50 people left homeless. Donations had swelled that fund to at least $84,000 by Thursday afternoon. 

Friendly’s has also decided to pitch in, with five local Friendly’s locations are donating 20 percent of their sales to the Holyoke Mayor’s Fire Relief Fund, benefiting the fire victims.

The idea for the fundraiser came from Holyoke native Katie Murphy, who is currently a manager at a Friendly’s in Westfield. “I was just thinking that all those families lost everything right after Christmas and New Year’s,” she told 22News. “That’s terrible. So I thought Friendly’s would be able to get together and do a fundraiser.”

Holyoke Mayoral aide Heather Ducharme made certain to help the effort by having lunch at Friendly’s in Holyoke. “I think it’s touched a lot of people’s hearts in the community,” she said. “We all think ‘What would happen to me?’ That’s the whole point: what we can we do as a community, giving to those who are suffering from the fire.”

The relief fund, hoping to reach its $100,000 goal, will help replace the belongings of the families who lost everything and help the survivors of the three people who died in that fire.

The fundraiser continues until 10:00 Thursday night at the following Friendly’s locations.

  • Holyoke – 1745 Northampton St.
  • Ludlow – 471 Center St.
  • South Hadley – 489 Newton St.
  • Westfield – 21 Southampton Rd.
  • West Springfield – 1094 Riverdale St.