Starting Monday, seven of downtown Marion’s Main Street heroes will come together and help one of their own through a time of crisis.
Sarah and Ryan Jacobs are the owners and operators of Refinery 13, the popular taproom at 13 N. Main St. that offers North Carolina craft beers, hard ciders and wines. When it opened in March 2017, their business, called “Marion’s craft beer pioneer,” sparked a rebirth of the downtown district with other new and different establishments later bringing more excitement and fresh ideas to Main Street. This year, Refinery 13 was named Marion’s Small Business of the Year by the Marion Business Association and many people thought it was a very well deserved award. Refinery 13 hosts fund-raisers to help people who are faced with stressful and difficult situations and in support of worthy causes like the Foothills Conservancy.
But in recent months, the Jacobs family has faced one medical crisis after another. On the night of Friday, Aug. 3, Sarah Jacobs gave birth to her second son, Ezra. But not long after he was born, baby Ezra was taken to the NICU at Mission Hospital and was later diagnosed with a rare blood disorder. The infant still needs regular blood transfusions.
On top of that, his father Ryan had to undergo emergency quadruple bypass heart surgery before Thanksgiving at Mission Hospital in Asheville. Ryan is only 39 years old and he now faces a long road of recovery ahead. In addition, Ryan and Sarah are raising another young son, 6-year-old Whitt.
All of this has resulted in the Jacobs family facing an unbelievable amount of stress, both personal and financial. But their fellow downtown business owners are teaming up to assist them.
On Wednesday, Bruce Brown of Bruce’s Fabulous Foods announced on social media the “Marion Main Street 7-4-13” raffle. The name means seven businesses are “for” Refinery 13.
“When a friend is in need…you do your best to help them,” he posted on Facebook. “When a friend is in pain…you try to alleviate the pain. When a friend is stressed…you try to make the situation easier. This being said, I have learned that the efforts of a single person is admirable and can do wonders…but a group of people, working for one cause and goal, can move mountains.”
Starting Monday, Dec. 3, you may purchase tickets to win a big prize package from the “Marion Main Street 7-4-13” effort. The participating businesses are Bruce’s Fabulous Foods, McDowell Local, Burrito Bros., Mr. Bob’s Do-Nuts, Artesana Ice Cream, Flavors on Main and Mica Town Brewing.
The winner of this package will receive:
• Lunch for two, once per month for six months (January 2019 through June 2019) at each of the following locations: McDowell Local, Burrito Bros. and Bruce’s Fabulous Foods
• One dozen doughnuts, one dozen per month for six months (January 2019 through June 2019), from Mr. Bob’s Do-Nuts
• Two ice cream cones, once per month for six months (January 2019 through June 2019) from Artesana Ice Cream
• Additional prizes and goodies, once per month for six months (January 2019 through June 2019) from Mica Town Brewing (two pints per month) and Flavors on Main.
Tickets will be $13 each, in honor of Refinery 13. All proceeds will go to Ryan and Sarah Jacobs and their family to help with medical bills and expenses. The single winner of the prize package will be drawn on New Year’s Eve in downtown Marion. You don’t have to be present to win.
Brown said to The McDowell News that he and the other business owners wanted to do something that would have an impact.
“We wanted to do something big, not individually,” he said. “This came up over Thanksgiving, because these are the things we are truly thankful for. Go big or go home!”
“I think it’s a great thing when we all come to help one another,” said Daniel Rodriguez, co-owner of Burrito Bros, to The McDowell News. “It’s why I love this town.”
Emily Causey, co-owner of Mica Town, said to the newspaper it was Brown’s idea to have all these business owners come together for this cause. He approached Causey and her husband Jason Snyder about joining in with this effort. Causey said they are only too happy to help out.
“We’re stronger together,” she said to The McDowell News.
On Sunday, Mica Town hosted a blood drive as a way of showing support for the Jacobs family.
Robert Masiello, owner of Mr. Bob’s Do-Nuts, said he is not doing this for the exposure, or a pat on the back.
“I am doing this because no family should have to go through all that suffering,” he said to The McDowell News. “I just hope if I needed help that people would be there for me also. I am not doing it to bring business, I am doing it from my heart.”
“We are so happy to be participating in the raffle,” said a prepared statement from Sandra and Agustin Precoma of Artesana. “With this cold weather, people are less likely to go for a stroll downtown. This raffle is a fun way to get everyone up, out, and exploring all of the wonderful, unique shops that downtown Marion has to offer. We are blessed.”
Lauren Matthews, the co-owner of McDowell Local, said events like this prove that Marion is a place of love and compassion.
“Marion has proven itself to be a place that supports members of its community – time and time again – and that comes as no surprise,” she said. “It’s a testament to the ties that bind both long-time residents and folks like us who are new additions to Marion. Kindness breeds more kindness, and now more than ever, we’re all in need of more kindness and compassion. We’re so glad we can join other downtown small businesses in offering support to the Jacobs family during a very challenging time.”
Doug Watson of Flavors on Main said he and wife Debbie are happy to give back to the Jacobs family.
“Sarah, Ryan and family have given so much to this community in so many ways,” said Doug Watson to The McDowell News. “Now is our chance to show support to them in their time of need. They truly are Main Street Heroes!”
In response to this gesture, Sarah Jacobs posted on Facebook: “You guys have read me brag about our downtown Marion community and how we are all a big family…but this gesture takes the cake. I seriously am so humbled by the love, support and generosity of our friends during what has been the hardest 3 months of our lives. Your love is what is carrying us through right now.”