The community in Wimberley is coming together to help those left unemployed after a fire at the Cypress Creek Cafe and Buzzard Bar.
The bar and restaurant was the largest private employer in the town until flames ripped through the building on Memorial Day.
Around 2 AM on May 30, a fire burned the restaurant and torched the owner's upstairs apartment, causing $750,000 in damage. No one was injured, but the café was considered a total loss.
“They are just incredible people and so whenever this burned down, it was really just like having a childhood home be gone,” said former employee Victoria Giles.
The Cypress Creek Cafe employed 54 people up until the night of the fire. As the owners watched their business and their home burn, their biggest concern was what would happen to everyone who worked there.
“When we told Randy and Trish that we wanted to give money to CCC to help everyone in this time of difficulty, the first thing out of their mouths was, ‘Fantastic! We can't wait to give all this to our employees so they'll be so well taken care of.’ Just so selfless,” Giles said.
Regulars at the 80-year-old cafe worked with others in the community to organize a benefit.
“We woke up the day of the fire, looked around and said, ‘We have to do something,’” said Giles.
Saturday, the From the Ashes Benefit and Concert filled The Waters Point event venue with one goal in mind; to raise money for those who used to work at Cypress Creek.
“We're just trying to gap a little time for these employees to be able to recover somewhat in their new jobs,” said event organizer Marvin Bottera.
Several bands volunteered to play at the event and local restaurants and businesses opened booths and donated items to help raise money.
The goal is to collect $50,000, about $925 per employee. Organizers expect to surpass that goal.
“How does this poor little town take so many hits and still thrive? But then you look at all the people here, and all this love here, and the way everyone's kind of bound together and you see this is a really special place,” Giles said.
Anyone who would like to donate to the Cypress Creek fund can do so at any Ozona Bank location by mentioning the “burning love” account.
There will also be future benefits in Wimberley and organizers said about 50 bands have already volunteered to help.