Bar employees taking down the thousands of bills that line the walls.(Photo: Kristin Hale, SKOB General Manager)
Employees at a Florida bar arecarefully bringing downalmost $14,000 incashstapled to its wallsand donating it to the Red Cross for Hurricane Dorian relief.
The Siesta Key Oyster Bar in Sarasota, Florida, has held a 16-year tradition since the bar first opened in which customers would write messages on a billand staple it to the wall.
After seeing how the Bahamas were devastatedby Hurricane Dorian in September, employees at this beloved local bar have been carefully detaching the dollars from the bar wall for the past month.
"Seeing the tragedy andwhat happened there was horrible," said assistant general manager Samantha Lemmer. "We knew immediately we had to pay it forward. It was devastating seeing what happened to everyone there."
Customers used the bar's industrial-strength stapler to attach the bills and sometimes used up to 10 staples for their one dollar, Lemmer said. So the employees have been using screwdrivers and pliers to retrieve the bills.
Bills that were taken down from the walls of Siesta Key Oyster Bar.(Photo: Megan Atkins, SKOB employee)
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The tradition comes from an old fisherman's tale in which sailors would stick money on the wall so that they could pick it back up after a long day's worth of hard work to buy a beer, she said.
The first time the restaurant decided to donate the moneywas six years ago, when the owners cleared out the walls and gaveabout $10,000 to five local charities.
This year, however, general manager Kristin Hale went to the bank Tuesday to deposit wads of the decorated cash and received a check back for$13,961.And there's still plenty more still attached to the walls, Lemmer said.
She said bar employees arestill working on pulling down more money to achieve their goal of $15,000 before sending out thethe final checkMonday.
Bar employees taking down the thousands of bills that line the walls.(Photo: Samantha Lemmer, SKOB Assistant General Manager)
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Because of the media coverage, the assistant manager says, more people have been visiting the bar to add their donations to the walls sometimes in $20 or $50 bills. The restaurant's employees have been working to get as much down as possible before Monday, sometimes staying after their shifts or coming in on days off.
"Ilove being a part of it," Lemmer said. "It made coming to work so exciting, especially seeing everyone come together.
"It's an overall team effort. It'samazing."
Follow Adrianna Rodriguez on Twitter: @AdriannaUSAT.
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