Local business lends a hand to Enterprise fire victim

Posted by: Melissa Johnson - bio | email

Enterprise, AL (WSFA) - It's been nearly a month since the New Year's Eve fire in downtown Enterprise.

Several businesses were damaged, but rubble is all that is left of Lanny's Gym—Lanny Shepard's business and home.

Shepard said, "To see it all in devastation, it's kind of hard."

Watching it all go up in flames is something he says he'll never forget.

"There was black smoke billowing out everywhere," he said.  "There was no way anybody could have gone back in."

The building may be gone, but it's not forgotten.  Lanny's loss became a call to action for folks in town to reach out and help.

"I walked the street and went down there, " said Bobbi DuBose.  "I just couldn't help but feel emotional about it.  Immediately I thought, 'We have to help.' "

DuBose, owner of All About Massage, decided she and her employees would lend a helping hand, using what they do best to raise money for a fellow downtown business owner and friend.

DuBose said, "We all decided, let's do 25 minute massages.  We'll do massages all day long if it takes it.  We'll change our hours and work evenings.  Whatever it takes to help him out."

All profits from that special 25 minute massage will go directly to Lanny.

"We just want to let Lanny know that we care about him," she said.

Lanny says these overwhelming acts of kindness are giving him hope to move forward.

"You don't realize how many good people there are around until something like this happens.  You see people everywhere you go, saying they're praying for you and wanting to help you."

Times like these, he says, will bring out the best in a community in the face of destruction.

If you'd like to schedule a massage to help raise money, make an appointment by calling All About Massage at (334) 393-2225.

Saturday, February 6th, the Coffee County Chapter of Red Cross is also hosting a fundraiser for fire victims.

"The Red and White Chocolate Night" is from 6:00-10:00 PM at the Enterprise Recreation Center.

The night includes dinner, dancing, and entertainment.

Call the Red Cross at (334) 347-2461 for ticket information.

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