Fundraisers helping Kanawha school board member after fire

Ric Cavender, who's also the Charleston Main Streets Executive Director, says the amount of support he's getting is overwhelming.
Published: May. 12, 2023 at 10:52 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) - Community members are rallying to support a Kanawha County Board of Education member who lost his home in a fire last Friday.

Ric Cavender, who’s also the Charleston Main Streets Executive Director, says the amount of support he’s gotten since the fire at his home on Chester Road in Charleston has been overwhelming, as others have worked to raise money for him and his two sons.

“It’s hard for me to put into words how thankful I am for all this community’s support,” Cavender said.

A fundraiser at Fife Street Brewing is planned for 7 to 10 p.m. Saturday. Another fundraiser is scheduled for 3 p.m. Saturday at Short Story Brewing on Summers Street.

“He’s just always been an nice, supportive guy to us,” Aaron Rote, the owner of Short Story Brewing, said. “When I heard about what happened with him, it just seemed like an obvious choice to help him.”

“When you work with all these small businesses so much, you get to know these folks so well,” Cavender said. “You get to hear their stories on what made them decide to open their business, and you get to help them out how you can. When something happens so tragic to you in your life, they turn around and offer to help you. It’s really emotional. It’s a powerful thing, and I’m so, so grateful.”

Cavender’s home was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

“The whole reason I bought the house almost three years ago was because of its historic status,” he said. “It was one of the most beautiful houses in Charleston as far as I was concerned. Owning the home, I felt this responsibility sort of to protect the house itself, to maintain it and preserve it.”

His hope is to rebuild.

Donations are also being accepted through a GoFundMe page set up by the Kanawha County Board of Education president. That page had already received more than $34,000 as of Friday evening.

Cavender didn’t want to comment on the situation with the fire hydrants in the area not having enough water pressure to adequately fight the fire.