On Sunday morning the Marlborough community flocked to a pancake breakfast fundraiser at the First Presbyterian Church of Marlboro to help Robert Kirk, whose beloved deli was nearly demolished recently when a vehicle careened off of Route 9W and crashed into the building.
Kirk, who has leased the building for 32 years, said the community has been especially supportive since the accident.
“I can’t believe the turnout, even with people I don’t know,” he said. “The support here, as you can see, is tremendous and I never imagined it.”
Kirk said it is a different feeling for the community to be helping him.
“It’s very hard to sit back and take it. Usually I’m out there trying to do what I can for the community, now it’s the other way,” he said.
Friend Chuck Benfer said a fundraiser like this, “is what makes our community fantastic; the fact that we support each other. We’ve turned to Rob when the chips were down and now Rob can turn to us when the chips are down. That’s what makes our community special. It’s humbling to be on the receiving end but I think it’s also a great lesson to learn that we all need help from time to time; when you live in a community like this it doesn’t hurt to help. I go all over the country for business [but] this is what makes this region special. We’re close enough to big cities but we still have that small town feel; that really is exceptional.”
Charles Weed said despite the rain, people came out to support Kirk.
“It is a good meeting place for the community,” he said.
Kirk said preliminary plans call for keeping the same footprint of the building but two walls and the roof have to be completely replaced. He is hoping the building can be sealed up in the next few weeks to keep out the elements so cleanup can begin. Plumbing work would follow and Central Hudson has to check and turn the power back on.
“Sometimes you find out more when you dig into stuff,” he said.
Paul Quimby said Ella Weiss sparked the idea for the fundraiser. She is from Marlborough and presently attends SUNY Oneonta. Quimby said after the accident Weiss emailed the minister, asking what can we do for Kirky?
“That kind of started it and everybody took the bull by the horns and I was the go-fer; I got the supplies,” he said. “She planted the seed and everybody followed through.”
Quimby said fundraisers like this one work very well when there is a cause, “people are very generous and Rob’s a great guy .”
Quimby said Rob is very community oriented.
“He’s done a lot around our church and I’ve never asked him to lift a finger. He’s trimmed the hedges, he’s put down cedar mulch and I’m sure he’s done things for other people,” Quimby said. “I think it’s overwhelming the community support for this, it’s awesome.”