Mecklenburg Inn raises funds, awareness for flood victims
A historic Shepherdstown pub spent Sunday raising funds and awareness for southern West Virginians hit hard by the recent flooding. The “Meck” is a staple of the Shepherstown scene and has taken time out to bring attention to a cause that has West Virginians rallying. “We hope a lot of people come out,” said Lynn Kemper, the point-woman in charge of coordinating the establishment’s efforts. “A lot of different businesses in town have donated to help out. We wanted to do it as soon as possible and everyone has helped out and been supportive.” The Mecklenburg is raising funds from donations, a raffle, a silent auction, musical performances as well as proceeds from some of the food and drink specials. “About 35 different businesses donated,” Kemper said. “It’s a great cause.” Many unique items from area crafters are up for sale as well as bidding from a silent auction. “We’re very grateful for all the support,” said Tracy Moody, of Shepherstown, and one of the owners of the Mecklenburg. “We’re collecting money at the door, having a silent auction, Chelsea McBee and Broke on Sunday volunteered to perform. It’s exciting.” The bar offered something for everyone who came to support the cause Sunday. “I just came to donate time,” said Chris Grant, Jamaican and owner of C&G Jerk, as well as the event’s grillmaster. “I serve a lot of music festivals and I come here every Sunday. We’re cooking about 60-70 chickens today.” Chris Irrgang, a 20-year resident of the town from New Jersey who said “I helped at Street Fest and now I’m helping get ready for the festivities here.” With the aroma of jerk chicken in the air, the band was excited to perform. “It’s a really good cause,” said Bob Keel and Caleb McBee, both of Shepherdstown, and members of Broke on Sunday. “We are pretty excited to help out,” McBee said. David Billmeyer, of Shepherdstown, was offering his time at the grill as well and said, “we hope we can raise as much as we can and we hope everyone has a fun time doing it.” Local residents and patrons were certainly energetic about the events. “West Virginia sticks with West Virginia,” said Chris Wilson, of Shepherdstown. “Everyone sticks together, it’s awesome.” “Effecting social change one beer at a time,” said Aaron Blessing, of Charleston. “I have friends who’ve helped clean up, a lot of people are affected, it’s really sad.” Many from out of town also stopped by to see the fundraiser efforts. “I’m happy to help,” said Annie Warren, of Alexandria, Virginia. “I’m happy to do anything I can to contribute.” “I’m really excited they’re doing something for it,” said Tommie Lucas, of Charles Town. “I’ll drink for the cause.” “It’s my first time to Sheperdstown,” said Kaitlyn Tillery, of New York City. “I’m excited to contribute to the relief effort.” The Mecklenburg was sure to please and offered something for everyone. “There’s so much stuff,” said Shanaz Chowdry, a volunteer from Shepherdstown.