TOM VAUGHT | SUN
J&J Graphics owner Joan Carter quickly sold out
her original order and has ordered more several times.
ANNA MARIA – Work has begun on the Rod and Reel Pier restaurant following the fire Monday, Sept. 30, that damaged the structure. Workers can be seen at the pier, where a gate keeps out people. Two storage pods are in the parking lot holding furniture and other items that would be in the way as they replace the walls that were damaged.
West Manatee Fire Rescue Inspector Keith Miller reported last week the cause of the fire was accidental as the result of radiant heat over time. The origin was located on the south side of the structure on the second floor inside the wall protecting the fryers. The heat caused the wall to decompose over time and spontaneous combustion took place the morning of the fire.
Meanwhile, efforts to help the staff of the restaurant continue. Joan Carter, of J&J Graphics, had some T-shirts printed showing the Rod and Reel logo with a smoky theme. For instance, “roasted oysters” instead of “fried,” and “scorched jalapeno peppers” instead of “hot.”
“I had to order more shirts shortly after I got the first 100,” Carter said. “I’ve reordered several times and the total number of shirts ordered so far is 276.”
Carter said Kandie Kerekes, owner of The Three Island Monkeys, is selling the shirts on weekends and will be doing so this weekend so people headed to or from Bayfest Saturday will be able to get shirts at the Island Sun Plaza, 9801 Gulf Drive. At Palm Avenue.
Carter said she footed the bill for the first 100 T-shirts but after that, she had to take some of the proceeds from the first batch to pay for subsequent orders. Otherwise, 100 percent of the proceeds after expenses will go toward All Island Denominations. If you buy a shirt, they take cash or checks made out to All Island Denominations Food Bank.
If you want to donate money without purchasing a T-shirt, donations may be sent to A.I.D., P.O. Box 305, Anna Maria, FL 34216.