Local coffee shop holding fundraiser to help firefighter with medical bills

The exterior of Winans Chocolates and Coffees in downtown Springfield. Bill Lackey/Staff

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The exterior of Winans Chocolates and Coffees in downtown Springfield. Bill Lackey/Staff

A local business is working to raise funds this week for a member of the Springfield fire department to assist in medical bills.

Visitors to Winans Chocolates & Coffees, 32 N Fountain Ave., late this week could see a sign by the tip jar that read, "All employee tips received between April 19 and 22 will be donated to benefit City of Springfield Firefighter/Paramedic battling his third brain tumor surgery. Winans of Springfield will match all donations."

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Travis Van Voorhis, part owner of Winans, said the man is a regular Winans customer but he “doesn’t share a whole lot of information” about any medical issues. The staff heard about his situation from friends and family.

“He speaks us up in a positive way to other people, brings people in, so it definitely feels like we’re giving back to him as well,” Van Voorhis. said. “We appreciate him. When you see recurring customers, you get to know a little more about them, see their families, meet their families. That’s a good thing, we like that.”

Van Voorhis said he and other fundraisers are planning to present the donation to the man when he returns from his surgery in Columbus, which they expect to be next week.

Kiarra Maloney, a local high school student who was at Winans with her mother on Friday morning, said she noticed the sign with information about the fundraiser.

“I showed it to my mom … she gave me a dollar for a donation, so I put it in there, and I turned around and she gave me another five dollars,” Maloney said. “I just thought it was so sweet that they’re doing donations for it.”

Winans will be accepting the donations in the tip jar through Sunday. Van Voorhis said the shop planned the fundraiser around a coffee sale to try to reach more people.

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