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'Greater Good' Living Up To Its Name

The barbecue joint hosted a hugely successful fundraiser Thursday for Handy Ace employees.

Updated Sunday, Jan 13, 11:27 a.m.

In an amazing display of community solidarity, a mass of supporters showed up Thursday at Greater Good Barbecue's fundraiser and raised loads of cash for Handy Ace Hardware employees displaced by the Dec. 28 fire.

There was live music, a silent auction, plenty of alcohol and some waits to get served. "This is the bomb," said local resident Carol Garner. "Us Tucker people stick together."

As television news crews mingled with swarms of people, restaurant staff bustled about keeping up with demand. Asked if she was OK, co-manager Tracey Wrench replied, "I guess. I left my body a long time ago."  

Her husband, Bill Wrench, said he was swamped with donations. "People were giving me hundreds all night. It's great but a little overwhelming." He said it will be a little while before they know the amount raised "but it's going to be thousands."

"It's nice that everyone came out," said customer Sarah Seyfred. "They're slammed. It's a record-breaking night for them."

The hardware store employees who will benefit from this largesse are held in great esteem by many in Tucker, and Handy Ace owner Harold Smith is doing what he can to hang on to them while he makes plans to rebuild. "Obviously, we want to take care of them," he said.

He is meeting with architects and acquiring the necessary permits for a brand new store. "I'm starting with a clean canvas, in a way." As Smith looked around the packed restaurant, he said the outpouring of local support has been "really amazing, very touching."

Smith promised Patch he would provide regular progress updates and that once the new building is finished, there would be a big bash to celebrate.

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An earlier version of this article stated the fundraiser would continue on Jan. 17. That is not the case.

Susan Wasmer January 11, 2013 at 03:56 PM
So proud to be a member of the Tucker community!
Denise Adams January 11, 2013 at 07:47 PM
Last night was really great! Heard many people say, they wouldn't usually wait, but this was for a good cause so they waited in line! :0) Well done Greater Good BBQ! You have really shown the Tucker Community what you are all about! Truly the GREATER GOOD! :0)
Maureen Middlebrooks January 12, 2013 at 01:48 AM
Last night's turnout was amazing! There was such a sense of community. Despite the confusion of trying to serve so many people, the servers were all smiles and very polite. The food was delicious, from the ribs to the banana pudding. I look forward to going back when things are a little calmer:)
Kevin Madigan January 13, 2013 at 04:12 PM
Correction: The fundraiser will NOT be continued next Thursday, according to manager Scott Ellenberger: "We will be offering up another silent auction with items that were not auctioned off on Thursday, but at this time we have no plans to donate proceeds again. While we were proud to be able to host the event, we can not afford to do this every week. There is talk of doing it in the future, but it will not be on Thursday."

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