Locals Attend Benefit for Montego Bay Employees - WMBB News 13 - The Panhandle's News Leader

Locals Attend Benefit for Montego Bay Employees

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One week after a popular Panama City Beach restaurant was destroyed by fire, the community comes together to help the employees.

The Montego Bay Seafood house on Thomas Drive has been closed since the fire, leaving about 20 employees out of work.

The fire started in the attic but quickly spread causing the roof to collapse.

"I sat there for 5 hours on the bench and just cried, there was nothing I could do. When you see everything you've worked for.. It's gone in a flash," said Tammy Howard General Manager of Montego Bay.

About 20 employees lost their jobs and the community lost a beloved restaurant.

"It's such a sad time for it to happen during the holiday season and we wanted to make sure and do our part," said Betty England.

When Bill Buskell, owner of Pineapple Willy's heard the news, he decided to step in.

"We thought it would be a good idea to raise money for their employees who would be out of a job for Christmas. It's a bad time and a sad time, so we'll cheer them up by having a big fundraiser," he said.

A ten dollar donation got each person in the door, then half the proceeds from the bar and all the money from the silent auction, goes to the families affected.

"There not enough words to express the gratitude and thanks we feel for this.. Words just can't do it justice. It's unbelievable the amount of people who have come forward to help," said Howard.

"I'm really fortunate to have Pineapple Willy's and everybody that has come here to support us for this," said Troy Evans, Montego Bay Employee.

The Montego Bay staff only had one thing to say..

"Just hopefully we come back bigger and better... If that's possible," said Evans.

 "I hope we come back stronger than ever, when we finally do rebuild and I look forward to seeing everybody there when we finally do get going again," said Howard.

The goal was to raise at least 500 dollars per employee.

The second location of Montego Bay in the Edgewater shopping center remains open with normal hours.