RUSSELLVILLE, Ark. (KATV) — Two days since a historic piece of Russellville history went up in flames, community members are making efforts to give back.
Since the 1940’s, the Old South Restaurant in Russellville was a social hub for many.
“I know people that have gone there on their first dates," said Danielle Housenick, Executive Director of Main Street Russellville. "They’ve had meetings there and all kinds of different things so it is a big loss for our community.”
Housenick said everyone felt the loss but it didn’t take long for the community to spring into action.
She said her and Arkansas Real Estate Collective came up with the idea of a benefit concert.
“Several groups in the community have reached out to say ‘hey we want to do something for these people’," said Housenick. "I know they are taking donations online. One of our local real estate companies got in touch with me, since I do the concerts downtown, I have already found some music groups that are willing to play and we are just going to bring everyone out. We have several companies that are donating t-shirts.”
Housenick said there goal is to raise $50,000, with every dollar going straight to Old South employees.
“They went to bed and woke up without a job," said Housenick. "That is heartbreaking. They have around 54 employees and some of them have been there for years. The owners were very committed to taking care of their employees. Several groups in the community have reached out saying they want to help these people.”
She said it is the least they can do for the years of service Old South provided to them.
"They’ve served the community with high service, amazing food for such a long time, and they really were a big part of this community," said Housenick. "Absolutely, the community wants to give back to them. We are all waiting with baited breath to find out if they are going to reopen and where it will be. People are already craving that breakfast.”
She said they have set the benefit concert for July 7, from 6-10 p.m. located at the Russellville Depot Park downtown.
They are currently finalize the details for performances.
For more information on the concert or if you would like to donate through Main Street Russellville, click here.
For more information on how to donate to Old South through the Russbus, click here.