BERNARDSTON — Crumpin-Fox Golf Club is organizing a fundraiser with discount golf, a buffet dinner, live music and more to help Alex and Amy Fiorey as they try to restore their restaurant, the Falltown Grill, after a June 29 fire rebuild.
Organized by Mike Behn, President and Chief Operating Officer of Crumpin-Fox owner Sandri Companies, the fundraiser is scheduled to take place on Thursday, July 28, starting at 5 p.m. Businesses from across the county have lent a helping hand, with major sponsors including club restaurant Zeke’s Bar and Grill, Hitchcock Brewing Co. and Greenfield Savings Bank. The proceeds, Alex Fiorey said, will go toward expenses the couple’s insurance won’t cover, as well as potential efforts to eventually rebuild the restaurant.
Behn recalled that when he first set foot in the Falltown Grill on South Street, he had virtually no connection with the Fioreys.
“I had hardly known the couple, but I went there with my wife for a late dinner,” he said.
On that first visit, the owners gave Behn a tour. As they walked, the Fioreys also guided Behn through the preparations of their year leading up to the restaurant’s opening in early June. As they spoke, Behn said, “You could see her pride.”
“My wife and I just felt like they were charming people who made their dream come true, and seeing it all go up in smoke broke my heart,” said Behn, who added that he’s usually a “quite.” emotionless guy”.
The way the tragedy broke Behn’s tough “businessman” shell prompted him to start a fundraiser to support the Fioreys.
“[Alex Fiorey’s]immediate response was, ‘We’re givers, not takers, and we’re a little uncomfortable with that.'”
Eventually, however, the owners agreed.
“They didn’t stretch out their hands,” Behn said. “We stretched out our hands for them.”
When Behn began asking local businesses if they would like to get involved, the spate of positive responses made it clear he wasn’t the only one affected by the disaster.
“It’s pretty emotional when you see people stepping up for who they are,” Behn said.
According to Behn, restaurants “from across the county” will be represented via a series of gift cards that contributed to a raffle.
“We reached out to other competitors who have seen this restaurant go down, and every one of them said ‘yes,'” Behn said, emphasizing the importance of people putting their business interests aside to help their neighbors .
Hitchcock Brewing Co. will be serving drinks at the Crumpin-Fox Golf Club from 12:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. and donating a portion of the proceeds to the Fioreys. Meanwhile, Brattleboro, Vermont-based dance band Wyld Nightz provide live music. The former Falltown Grill employees have volunteered to work at the event for free.
“It’s overwhelming how many people want to get on the plate,” said Behn. “It’s heartwarming.”
“It’s actually kind of shocking,” Alex Fiorey said.
Referring to the Crumpin-Fox Club’s contributions, Behn said golf is offered “at a really deep discount” of $59 per person for 18 holes with a cart or $30 per person for a nine-hole afternoon . The gift card raffle of the day will also be combined with a 50/50 raffle. Dining, served from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. by Zeke’s Bar and Grill, includes a “Big Buffet” dinner for $40 per person and $20 for under 14s.
“There will be food for every taste,” Behn said.
Regarding a fundraising goal, he said, “The sky’s the limit.” Since they “have no idea what[they]are going to get out of this,” Behn said, he and his staff are just thrilled to help.
“Our employees are really involved,” he said. “I haven’t seen her this perky in a long time.”
Meanwhile, Alex and Amy Fiorey have sharpened their focus keener than at the last Falltown Grill fundraiser, held by local disc jockey Robert “Bobby C” Campbell last month. According to Alex, he and Amy have made it their goal to get the Falltown Grill back to where it was “as quickly as possible” to keep their dream alive.
“It won’t be that big anymore,” he said, “but we’ll do what we can.”
For presale tickets and related purchase options, visit bit.ly/3J5hu9o. Local businesses interested in contributing to the raffle prize pool can contact Behn at 413-834-7029.
Reach Julian Mendoza at 413-772-0261, ext. 261 or firstname.lastname@example.org.