Four-alarm fundraiser week to benefit victims of Downtown Mini Mall fire

Four-alarm fundraiser week to benefit victims of Downtown Mini Mall fire

Comedian Tony Casillas performs his stand-up set at DanÕs Silver Leaf in Denton, Texas on Tuesday. The night of comedy helped raise money for those impacted by the fire that destroyed the Downtown Mini Mall this past December. Julian Esparza

Four-alarm fundraiser week to benefit victims of Downtown Mini Mall fire
January 11
14:38 2018

Two Brave Boys, a weekly comedy broadcast, hosted a comedy show fundraiser Tuesday night at Dan’s SilverLeaf to benefit the Locust Street apartments damaged by the Downtown Mini Mall fire.

Six local comedians performed, accepting donations from guests to help cover any damages the apartment complexes cannot pay for.

Comedian Josh Johnson performs his stand-up set at Dan’s SilverLeaf in Denton, Texas on Tuesday. Julian Esparza

The comedy show was a part of the four-alarm fundraiser week, a series of benefit shows that will help Locust Street after the Downtown Mini Mall fire. The shows are organized by Deep Wax Productions, an executive production company that sponsors local artists including Two Brave Boys. 

Each show will benefit different groups affected by the fire and all proceeds will go toward those groups. Guests are encouraged to donate anything they can when they enter the different venues.

“All the comedians in Denton came together to put these shows on,” Mark Zimmerman, CEO of Deep Wax Productions, said. “We have to do something. We have to step up and do something to help the community when it’s in need.” 

The shows on Monday through Wednesday featured performances by Denton comedians. The Bearded Monk, a bar on the Square, will host performances by local musicians on Thursday night and the final show Friday will be a variety ball with magic, comedy and musical performances. The final show starts at 8 p.m. Friday at Andy’s Bar on the Square, just down the street from the Downtown Mini Mall.

“It shows that something can happen and the community can organize to try to help it,” Taylor Higginbotham, member of Two Brave Boys, said. “It’s almost like an unspoken safety net for when something bad happens.”

The show on Wednesday benefitted La Di Da, a women’s clothing store which suffered damages from the fire. The Thursday show will benefit Jupiter House, a neighboring coffee shop which was also damaged. The donations from the variety ball will go towards the vendors for the Mini Mall.

The Downtown Mini Mall caught fire on the morning of Dec. 26, leaving the 37-year-old antique store destroyed. Jessica Rogers, city of Denton public information officer, said the building is back under control of the property owner, Leo Will.

Downtown Mini Mall in the downtown square caught fire in the early hours of Dec. 26 in Denton, Texas. Jake King/DRC

At this point, the city is in charge of the fire investigation and inspecting the structural integrity of the building. The cost of damages and origin of the fire is unknown.

“Our fire marshal’s office is still investigating the cause of the fire,” Rogers said.

The four-alarm fire also destroyed most of the inventory at La Di Da and Shop the Barn, a furniture store on Locust Street. Jupiter House may not be safe for occupation and some employees have started looking for new jobs.

The Downtown Mini Mall 2, located two shops down from Mini Mall 1, reopened on Dec. 28, according to its Facebook page.

Will’s family members have set up GoFundMe accounts that will directly support the Mini Mall building and the vendors. As of Jan. 10, donors have contributed $1,900 toward the building and $280 for the vendors.

Zimmerman said the four-alarm fundraisers are important because the community took a hit from the fire. He said Denton survives because of its residents and they have to support each other.

“A lot of people were affected by the fire and they are our neighbors,” Zimmerman said. “It’s our duty to help our neighbors out whenever we can. That’s what makes us people — that’s humanity.”

Featured Image: Comedian Tony Casillas performs his stand-up set at Dan’s SilverLeaf in Denton, Texas on Tuesday. The night of comedy helped raise money for those impacted by the fire that destroyed the Downtown Mini Mall in December. Julian Esparza

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Devin Rardin

Devin Rardin

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