‘Run to Rebuild’ to raise money for those impacted by Longmeadow plaza fire

Hampden County

LONGMEADOW, Mass. (WWLP) – On Saturday morning a run was held to raise money for the businesses impacted by that massive fire in Longmeadow just before Thanksgiving.

For Tom Lachiusa and so many others, Armata’s Market was his go to spot for shopping. Until a fire tore through the Maple Center Shopping Center, destroying six businesses and leaving 74 people without a job.

“It reminds me of stepping back in time to the old supermarkets with what they were like when I was a kid. They weren’t that big. And Armata’s was just kind of a homey place,” Tom recalled.

“Shocked. Absolutely shocked,” Runner Jeffrey Hulbert expressed.

Julie-Ann LeClair added, “Sadness too. I mean Thanksgiving, all the families and people you knew were going to go out without meals and the employees that I don’t know how they’re going to be out of work.”

That’s why Christina Turgeon wanted to help out. Organizing the “Run to Rebuild” outside 4RUN3 outside of East Longmeadow. The donation, she said will go towards 74 ham dinners so that the families that had a tough Thanksgiving may have a better Christmas.

As Julie-Ann and Jeffrey were running those four miles Sunday morning, they were thinking about one thing.

“Gratitude…. That we’re healthy, And we’re able to do this and help somebody out,” Julie Ann told 22News.

“Yeah, absolutely,” Jeffrey agreed.

The run ended at the Maple Center Shopping Center reminding people what they were running for.

“Families have to deal with not having a job and not having a way to support their family for the holidays and just not having to think about one meal is something I’d be grateful for,” said Christina Turgeon, organizer of the run.

To donate and help those impacted by the fire, click here.

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