Fundraiser being held for Buffalo Chip Saloon employees

The well-known Cave Creek restaurant, "The Buffalo Chip" went up in flames nearly a month ago. Many employees of the valley landmark are out of a job while the restaurant is rebuilt.

Now a BBQ fund-raiser is taking place to help out the Buffalo Chip's workers.

"It's unreal, you know I didn't know what to think, it felt like the world was in slow motion," said General Manager Sonia Pasciuta.

The General Manager of the Buffalo Chip says she felt like her world was ending when the restaurant went up in flames on Thanksgiving day.

"Just felt devastated, I can't even explain the feelings or emotions," she said.

More than 100 firefighters responded to the blaze on Thanksgiving morning. Fire crews from several agencies tried to save the landmark restaurant, but the flames spread too quickly.

"You know we had over 120 employees, many of these employees are single parents with multiple children living paycheck to paycheck," said owner Larry Wendt.

Now there has been a massive outpouring of support from the community. Folks organized a fundraiser Wednesday evening to help out the Buffalo Chip employees while they're out of work.

"Everyone always says thankfully no one was hurt, believe me, a lot of people were hurt, you may not see it right away, but a lot of people were hurt," said Wendt.

The BBQ fundraiser started at 4 p.m. at Frontier Town in Cave Creek. Organizers planned a silent auction and music. They're also collecting donations for the Foothills Food Bank to help out the Buffalo Chip employees.

"Thank goodness the food bank was available, a number of employees needed quick assistance, and they were there for them," said Marc Peagler with Frontier Town.

"It is just so harsh what happened on Thanksgiving day, and it's gonna carry through the holidays," said Wendt.

The fundraiser will help the Buffalo Chip employees, and it will go on until 9 p.m. Wednesday night.

There has been no schedule when the Buffalo Chip Saloon and Restaurant will be rebuilt.


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