Have you ever met men who would give anyone the shirts off of their backs, even if it meant they were the ones going without? The kind of guys that don’t need or want accolades for being selfless on a frequent basis, but would rather fly under the radar unnoticed? Selfless individuals who never turn away a person in need, who feed those that can’t afford it a free meal, and support the community in any way they can.
Steven West and Jim Atwood are “those guys”, and after years of helping the Saginaw Community, now need our assistance in return. The owners of the Savoy Bar and Grill need the community that they so love to step forward in a big way NOW and SOS: Save Our Savoy.
I don’t use the word “Our” in the title lightly. The Savoy is Saginaw’s community restaurant. At any one time of the day, you can walk into the Savoy and feel at home and welcomed. Jim and Steve have hosted their annual Thanksgiving dinner for 12 years in a row, feeding thousands of people for free. They’ve hosted countless fundraisers for groups like the Potter Street Station, the Lee Mansion, Saint Mary’s Sweet Sale, and Perceptions. The first recipient in Michigan for the Rotary Club Business and Ethics Award and winners of the Pride Good Neighbor Award, their incredible service to the community may soon come to an end.
I’m asking Saginaw and friends of the Savoy to offer much needed financial assistance to these selfless men and to this incredible community establishment.
Many people know that owning a business is tough, but you don’t often see how stressful it is (that stress is saved for when the doors are locked and closed for the day). Sometimes, under duress, choices are made that in hindsight, hurt more than they helped. This is what happened to my friends, Steve and Jim. The Savoy’s owners took out high interest loans in order to pay back taxes and now find themselves looking into an uncertain future. The only thing that is certain is that if they can’t find the funding to pay off these loans and catch up on the sales use and withholding taxes, the community place we have all grown so fond of will close its doors for good.
By trying to stay current with loan payments, they are now behind on the sales use and withholding taxes. They have come to a cross-roads: Ask for help or close the doors. Numerous people have talked to Steve and Jim and feel that the community needs this place and don't want to see it close. Ideally, to SOS, we are asking to raise money for the following items:
$60,000 to get the Savoy to a fresh start by paying off the state sales use and withholding taxes and paying off the remaining balance on the loans.
Many will say, “What have they done to help themselves and why should I care?” The first part is easy: They’ve opened for additional days and worked longer hours, but it just isn’t enough. The second part, well, that’s up to you, but I hope my reason will suffice: Care because they’ve cared for our community through the years and because losing the Savoy would leave a hole in our city that is too large to fill.
Care because they worked for so many years to make Saginaw a better place, even when others have given up. Care because we won’t be the same without them.