HAMILTON, Ohio — After a fire raged in the roof of Hanover Reserve for hours Sunday night, local businesses are already rallying to support the business owners and any couples who were planning to celebrate their big day at the space.
"I know all the businesses around would do the same for us, especially since it's been a crazy year," said Bradley Baker, general manager of Pinball Garage.
Pinball Garage immediately jumped into action when they saw a fellow business in Hamilton in jeopardy. A Facebook page on their site encouraged local businesses to pitch in to help Hanover clients in as many ways as possible.
"If you or someone you know had a wedding planned and need a place, we have a large outdoor area and will offer it totally free," reads a Facebook post on Pinball Garage's page. "It's not fancy, but we want to help if we can."
By Monday, Pinball Garage had compiled a large list of local businesses that have offered to supply couples in need with backup services, from catering to music to photography to decorations and more.
"Classical music is beautiful, right," said Pam Stumpf, a private music teacher who is willing to play any affected weddings for free. "So any time you can add that beauty into a situation and people are going to feel calm and relieved and thankful, it's going to make them feel special and warm their hearts."
For couples like Emily Hopton and Jaron Weaver, figuring out what to do next has been stressful. The pair had planned to wed at Hanover Reserve in less than one week.
"You think of the little things, like cakes falling over or it may be raining," said Hopton. "You don't think your entire venue is going to go up in flames."
The couple owns Immortal Fitness in Hamilton and are bracing for a tough week. They said postponing is not an option, since they've already invested so much in the cake, food, music, photographer and hotel bookings for guests.
The couple said they're honored that other event centers are offering to help and they're hoping to find a new site soon.
"We're determined," said Hopton. "It's gonna happen."
"If she says we're gonna do it, then we're gonna do it," he said.