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Community gathering to benefit fire victims

Businesses to host fundraiser for Red Dog Relics

TRYON — On March 16, Tony and Wanda Levister watched their dreams and their savings go up in flames.

Their business, Red Dog Relics, is a total loss, but the community is stepping up to help.

The owner of Old Mill Market Square, David Kersey, and other shop owners in the area are sponsoring a benefit auction this Saturday. Kersey said they are renting a “huge” tent, and local shops such as the Tryon Antique Mall and Dark Horse Antiques, along with Old Mill Market Square, are donating items to be auctioned.

“We’re going to auction off the best coconut cake you’ll ever taste,” Kersey said.

Dot Hardin will be baking the coconut cake. She and her husband, Eddie, rent a booth at the Old Mill Market Square.

Another vendor is supplying an old-fashioned popcorn-popping machine, while others are donating antiques and collectables to fill the auction. There will be hot dogs with chili, chips, slaw and soft drinks for sale. 

The Levisters opened Red Dog Relics two years ago in the old Tryon Pharmacy building on Trade Street, just south of downtown. The fire is believed to have started with the furnace in the basement around 5 p.m.

According to Kersey, the Levisters were second-generation booth renters at the Old Mill Market Square. He said Tony’s father, Bobby Levister, rented a booth at the square for several years as well.

In addition to the auction, Kersey said they have created an account at the TD Bank on Trade Street, so anyone who wishes to donate can send funds to the Red Dog Relics emergency fund. Donations can also be dropped in jars placed at businesses, such as the IGA, around town.

“We’re doing this because evil flourishes when good men do nothing,” Kersey said. “In life everybody walks by and says, ‘somebody should do something,’ but they do nothing. We’re doing something, and we hope a lot of people will show up to help.”

The auction will be held at the Old Mill Market Square, located at 151 Southern Mercerizing Road, Tryon, on Saturday, March 31 at 10 a.m. For more information, contact the Old Mill Market at 828-859-5467.