Downtown business owner Mike Fak said that storefront businesses on
Pulaski Street were extremely thankful for the efforts of the 15
fire departments as well as the first responders who came on the
scene to battle the late-afternoon blaze.
"We all talked about
what an amazing job those men and women did to prevent the flames
from spreading," he said. "The entire block of 500 Pulaski has
common walls, and if the firefighters didn't contain that fire,
there could have been devastation to the square that could have
taken years to recover from."
From that day, talk of doing something to say thank you to the
Discussions ensued with Lincoln Mayor Keith Snyder, Alderwoman
Jonie Tibbs, Main Street Lincoln director Bill Hoagland, Logan
County Board member Andy Anderson and several businesses. The
decision was to have a family picnic for all 15 departments, plus
first responders and their families, with the costs paid for by
residents of Lincoln. It was also decided that this was the perfect
time to start a concerted donation drive to help the Oasis rebuild.
The picnic day will be Sept. 15, from 1 till 4 p.m., on the 500
block of Pulaski Street. There will be a family-style picnic for all
those involved with helping contain the blaze and for their
The general public is invited to attend.
A special showing of photographs of the fire will be on display
at the Lincoln Art Institute, on the McLean Street side of the
square. Prints will be available for purchase, with all proceeds
from their sale going to the Oasis. Some prints will also be
available to the firefighters at no cost.
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The mayor made a point that donations of time and effort are
appreciated and that all cash donations that go beyond paying for
the costs of the event will be turned over to the Oasis. Currently
many of the items needed for the picnic are being supplied by area
businesses free of charge. Fak said the hope is that there will be
only a small cost for the picnic, if any, with the great majority of
funds collected going to the Oasis.
A special bank account under the auspices of Main Street Lincoln
has been set up at State Bank. Checks should be made payable to "The
Oasis Fire Fund." Checks or cash donations can be dropped off at any
State Bank location, or checks can be mailed to State Bank of
Lincoln, P.O. Box 529, Lincoln, IL 62656.
People interested in helping with the event can email
The mayor recalled his emotions during the blaze. "I went up and
thanked one of the volunteer firefighters for coming to Lincoln and
helping us fight the blaze," Snyder said. "He said we would have
done the same for him if it was his town. But this time, it wasn't
his town, it was ours, and we look forward to thanking all who came
with a special day."
[Text from file received]