When the Fireside Chat Lounge closed its doors, it did not close its ties to the Bath community. At their reunion party, 200 previous employees and patrons of the Fireside gathered to visit with each other and to make a difference in their community.
The Arc of Steuben was chosen as the first recipient of funds raised by reunion guests. Chad Crans, representing the Finney family, owners of the Fireside Chat, said “The Arc of Steuben was chosen because we wanted to donate toward local services to children and adults who have autism. We will be choosing a different charity every year. As many people know in the area, the Fireside Chat was very much a live music venue. There were many staff and patrons over the duration of the business that were like family. In a way, this is like a Fireside Chat family reunion that raises money to benefit LOCAL charity.”
The reunion benefit raised $2,018. Crans, along with Lisa and Julie Finney, spent a recent morning at the Arc of Steuben visiting programs and meeting the people who will benefit from their generous donation. The Finney sisters were amazed by the variety and quality of the work and activities they observed.
While visiting the StArcky U(niversity) day program, Crans played guitar along with Sam Potter, who has been taking lessons. Everyone joined in singing the lyrics to popular tunes as each musician strummed the music.
Ethel Strickarz, of the Arc of Steuben, said “Chad, Lisa and Julie added so much in the way of friendship and laughter to the morning’s activities. In a short period of time they made a difference in several individuals’ lives. The generous gift from the Reunion is very much appreciated in these challenging economic times.”
The next Fireside Chat Reunion is scheduled for September 15th at the Bath VFW. Information can be found on the Fireside Reunion page on Facebook or at firesidereunion.com. Information about the Arc’s programs can be found at arcofsteuben.org.