By: Rebecca Indianer
Carley Burkett, GM for Smokehouse 52, informs all Washtenaw county communities... “A Dine to Donate Fundraiser event will be held at Smokehouse 52 for Mark Taylor, the local Detroit Fire Fighter who was injured in a building collapse recently. The event will be held in-house at our Chelsea location all day on Thursday, October 24th. Phil Tolliver will be donating all profits from that day to the Taylor family, as well as a "Fill the Boot" donation collection.”
Mark Taylor is 39 years old, and has lived in the Chelsea community his whole life. Mark actually worked at the Chelsea Market when he was younger, before it was ever Smokehouse 52. His children go to school here and his wife Megan also grew up in Chelsea. Mark is a 3rd generation fire fighter. He volunteers his time as president of the Detroit Clown Team, which can be seen every year in the Thanksgiving parade. But their real mission work is to benefit child burn victims.
The fire Mark was involved in happened on October 3rd and has been highly publicized throughout several news outlets. It was an arson house fire and while inside, the structure collapsed, trapping Mark and members of his team inside. He was buried under the burning rubble for 10 minutes before his team was able to free him. He suffered 3rd degree burns to over 50% of his body. He has undergone multiple surgeries and will remain in the hospital for an unknown amount of time. After that, he will have extensive rehabilitation.
Carley Burkett shares, “I consider Mark a friend of mine. Phil Tolliver told me he too really really likes Mark and how him and his family had been supportive of him back when he used to own the jerky and coffee shop on the east side of Chelsea. Phil jumped at the opportunity to get involved, and his next words were, "what can we do to help." So, Warren Bowen, our Director of Operations, Phil and I started brainstorming and decided we would host a Dine to Donate Fundraiser event for the Taylor family. I started reaching out to whomever I could to get me in touch with the Taylor family and make sure they were alright with our Dine to Donate plan. I spoke with Megan, Mark's wife, then her sister Michele, and once Smokehouse 52 got the OK from them, we layered out our plan. Phil got on the phone and started the conversation with Scott Basar from the Chelsea Fire Department, who will be helping with the event.” There’s also talk of the Chelsea Fire Department participating by volunteering their services as "celebrity bartenders" to help with the cause, but you’ll just have to show up to the event to find out if this is a rumor or not.
Mark and his family are all in really good spirits and are just so appreciative of the support they have received. Megan is with him every day and commuting back and forth to DMC Hospital where Mark is being cared for in the burn unit.
Don’t forget to mark your calendars! Again, The Dine to Donate Fundraiser event is on Thursday, October 24th and runs all day at Smokehouse 52 (Chelsea location). 100% of the profits that day will go to the Taylor family, along with an open "Fill the Boot" donation collection.