LOVELAND, Ohio -- The Loveland community sold T-shirts, threw a festival and campaigned through GoFundMe to raise about $40,000 to help repair three historic buildings that were gutted in a fire.
More than 10,000 attended Loveland’s Firecracker Festival Saturday evening, and some wore “Loveland Strong” on their shirts, cheeks and shoulders.
Dianne Bomar hopes the message sticks.
“(It’s important) that we show those very involved, very committed community members who have suffered in this fire that we love them and support them, and we’ll do everything we can to make things right,” Bomar said.
A massive fire gutted the upper floors of three buildings on West Loveland Avenue on May 28. Everyone escaped unharmed.
Loveland City Manager David Kennedy said the fire started as the result of an electrical issue above the walk-in cooler at Tano Bistro.
The damage rocked downtown Loveland, but the community isn’t giving up.
“It’s really important to me that we demonstrate that we’re in this together, and the community can only get better,” Bomar said.
CeeCee Collins, president of the Little Miami River Chamber Alliance, said surrounding communities have lent a helping hand.
“Really really heartwarming to see how not just the downtown Loveland community has come together, how Milford has reached out, Anderson has reached out and Symmes has reached out,” Collins said.
Still, Collins said it could be a year before the buildings reopen.
Though the festival partially celebrated the Fourth of July, Bomar said this year it was really about showing support to those who lost everything.
“What was really important to all of us was that we show them that we love them. That’s what this is all about. It’s Loveland. We have to demonstrate that every chance we get,” Bomar said.
Anyone wanting to help Loveland’s historic district can call the chamber at 513-683-1544.