NORTH KINGSTOWN — On Sept. 10, an early morning three-alarm fire ripped through the Wickford Shipyard, destroying the building that stood at 125 Steamboat Ave.
While no one was injured, the two local businesses housed inside, Coastal Iron Works and George W. Zachorne Jr. & Sons Boat Builders were displaced, their owners forced to pick up the pieces and figure out their next steps.
The impact of the loss was felt within the community, particularly among other small business owners in Wickford, including Beauty and the Bath owner Lori Lyons and Canvasworks+ owner Carrie Kolb.
“Kolb and I got together probably about four days after the fire on my front porch and said ‘What are we going to do?,’” Lyons said.
Both agreed they should plan a fundraiser, and reached out to Duffy’s Tavern owner Sue Tucker who agreed and offered up her restaurant to host it, and quickly other businesses from across the community got on board as well to plan the Shipyard Shindig, which is set to take place at Duffy’s Tavern this Sunday from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.
The fundraiser, from which all proceeds will go to the owners of Coastal Iron Works and George W. Zachorne Jr. & Sons Boat Builders to help rebuild their businesses, is being organized by Lyons, Kolb and Tucker along with JW Graham/Yes! Gallery owner Julie Beede, Ryan Designs owner Michelle Casey and Amy Sonder, a local surveyor and friend of the Zachornes.
“We wanted it to be a party of neighbors and friends coming together to support these local businesses and help them rebuild after the fire,” Lyons said.
The event will feature food donated by Duffy’s Tavern, Oak Hill Tavern, The Place, End O’ Main Lobster/Wickford Oyster Company, Shayna’s Place, Matteo’s Bakery, Jitters Café, Mickey’s Pizza, Dave’s Marketplace, Sonoma Bistro, Tavern By The Sea, Wickford On The Water, Dan’s Carriage Inn and Gardner’s Wharf Seafood as well as a cash bar.
Live music will be provided by North Kingstown-based folk rocker Ten Rod Ramblers, Coventry-based rock/country/jazz/blues band Blackstrap Molasses and South County-based band the Sweatin’ Betsy’s, all of which donated their time according to Lyons.
The Shindig will also feature a raffle and live auction featuring several big-ticket items including a pair of Adirondack chairs from McKay’s Furniture, an eight-foot Oxxean 260 UL rigid hull inflatable boat from Full Keel Marine, a six-hour sunset cruise for six people on Captain Bob Higgins’ 63-foot, Wicked Harbor-docked boat the “Necessity” courtesy of Higgins, a private horse and carriage ride from New Deal Horse and Carriage and a kayak excursion from the Kayak Center of Wickford as well as local art pieces and other prizes.
“We have had people from all over the state and other marine businesses throughout the United States reaching out,” Lyons said. “Everybody just wants to help.”
They also have Shipyard Shindig t-shirts, sweatshirts and hats available for sale at ShipyardShindig.ItemOrder.com
“We hope that it raises enough money for (the businesses) to get back up and running again,” Lyons said.
Both the Zachornes and the owners of Coastal Iron Works will be at the event as well, according to Lyons.
Tickets are a suggested donation of $35 and can be purchased at the door or at Beauty and the Bath, Canvasworks+, McKay’s Furniture and Duffy’s Tavern. Kids 12 and under free and the event is cash only.