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Fundraiser to benefit Silver Spur employees set for July 23


Tara Alatorre

CAVE CREEK – The Silver Spur Saloon will be holding a charity auction, complete with live music and a dunk tank, on July 23 at the Roadhouse starting at 2 p.m., to provide emergency relief for its employees. The restaurant has been closed for repairs since a fire in the attic last month; the cause of the fire is still under investigation.

The fire destroyed the top level of the restaurant and waterlogged the dining area, forcing the Silver Spur to close down for an undetermined amount of time until the building can be repaired. The town of Cave Creek is rallying and pooling its resources, putting fundraiser efforts together for the employees, who will be out of a job until it reopens, according to Alisha Hopkins, the owner of the Silver Spur.

“We appreciate all the support from the community,” said Hopkins in an email interview. “It was a very crazy week.”

The Roadhouse and the Hideaway are selling shirts currently as an effort to raise money for employees affected by the fire, and 100 percent of donations received at the charity auction on July 23 will go towards helping employees pay their bills.

“It is the summer and hours are hard to come by so this effort will help them tremendously,” said Hopkins.

This is not the first time Cave Creekers have rallied to support local business after a devastating fire. After the Buffalo Chip burned down last year, the town raised nearly $60,000 to help the staff pay for bills until the bar could reopen. However, no good deed goes unpunished, and many people and employees of the Chip questioned whether or not the donated funds were dispersed properly and fairly.

Despite the fact that the Foothills Food Bank distributed funds to the Buffalo Chip employees, and opened its books to The Foothills Focus, which uncovered no foul play had occurred with the money raised for Buffalo Chip employees, it still made headlines all over the Valley. It also cast a shadow over the Buffalo Chip as it tried to recover from the devastating fire, pulling attention away from its efforts to help employees while rebuilding the bar from the ground up.

To avoid a similar conflict, Hopkins and her spouse Dan Allen, who is also an owner of the Silver Spur, have put Dan Kukulski and Ron Van Hess, both who are regular patrons of the establishment, in charge of the fundraising efforts. The money raised will be distributed through the Foothills Food Bank for better transparency. 

The money will be distributed equally to all eligible employees, and will go solely to help pay their rent and utilities. Employees will be required to bring in their bills, and the food bank will then write checks directly to those companies; employees will not receive cash directly, according to Hopkins.

Despite the hardships Hopkins has faced, she is not backing down and is ready to rebuild and reopen the Silver Spur as soon as possible. In addition to the challenges involved in reopening the Silver Spur, Hopkins recently had a baby. Her water broke a couple of days after the fire, and she gave birth to her son 6 weeks early, adding to the stress and chaos of the situation. Hopkins’ little boy is now home and is healthy and growing fast.

None of these challenges are stopping her from organizing fundraising efforts to help her employees, she said.

“We have a pretty tight knit staff, and during this time of struggle it’s really brought us even closer,” said Hopkins.  “We are sure that once we rebuild the Silver Spur it will be better than before.”