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Gary Baar Memorial Fundraiser

Thursday, December 18, 2014

5:00 - 9:00

Railtown Brewing Company  who just had their Grand Opening Dec 12th 3555 68th St SE Dutton, MI 49316 is holding this fundraiser

As many of you know, Gary Baar who owned and operated 'Cooks Drive In' in Dutton passed away this fall. Gary was a great and giving guy and was always very involved in the community. Dutton suffered a great loss when Gary passed away. Not long ago, we learned that some unfortunate events transpired which left the family to cover bills that insurance should have covered. Since Gary gave so much to Dutton, we've decided to come together as a community and give back and help the family cover some of these bills. We'll be opening up on Thursday, December 18, just for this event. We're busy collecting donations from area businesses and plan to hold a silent auction. We'll have some door prizes as well. In addition, we'll be tapping a couple new beers. Come out, raise a pint and help out the Baar family in their time of difficulty!

Credit card donations can be made at the family's GoFundMe page:

If you or someone you know is willing to donate items for the silent auction or door prizes, please message us!

mive article from Dec 1stThe Dutton community recently lost one of its most ardent supporters, and now, organizers of an upcoming fundraiser are hoping the community will come out to support his family.

Gary Baar, who operated Cook's Drive-In with his wife, Char, passed away on Oct. 23 after suffering two heart attacks in late September. He was 64.

Community members are setting up a fundraising event to help his wife cover his funeral expenses, which were unexpectedly not covered by insurance.

A Gofundme page has been set up, and a new microbrewery in Dutton, Railtown Brewing Company, has scheduled a fundraiser from 5-9 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 18. The business is located at 3555 68th St. SE. A Facebook event has been created

Justin Buiter, who owns Railtown Brewing Company along with business partner Gim Lee, said they first met Baar as they went around to local businesses getting to know the community. They sat down with him over root beer a couple weeks before his illness to talk about their plans.

"Gary was just a great guy," Buiter said. "When we heard he had passed away, we were trying to figure out what we could do to help. Microbreweries tend to be popular when they open up, so we decided to capitalize on that and help out with funeral expenses."

Baar became a Dutton business owner in 2007, when he moved the existing Cook's Drive-In from Kentwood to Dutton.

He started the annual Dutton Days celebration, and was also active in preserving local history and honoring veterans. He was named the first Dutton Person of the Year in 2010 by the Dutton Merchants Association.

"Gary was the type of man who was always interested in giving something back to his community, whether it was some civic project or a great hot dog," said Bruce Butgereit, director of History Remembered, who collaborated with Baar on creating a Civil War memorial in Dutton.

In 2007, Baar started a collection to recreate a World War II Honor Roll that had been put up at the Dutton library after the war. He had seen photos of the sign, which listed the names of 179 veterans who served, but no one knows what became of it.

"He wasn't satisfied with just hanging the photo on the wall of his restaurant, he proceeded to build an exact replica," Butgereit said.

Baar raised more than $8,000 for the cause, and a replica of the 1945 sign was dedicated on Sept. 10, 2011 at the Dutton Fire Station.

"It is thanks to Gary that the original monument was reconstructed and replaced, and then it became a gift to the historical society, and I'll cherish that forever," said Shirley Bruursema, who leads the Gaines Township Historical Society. "We are extremely grateful that he instituted the fundraising for getting the sign together."

Following the success of that project, Baar embarked on a project with Butgereit to create a Civil War memorial at the same location.

Two years ago, a 3.5-ton granite bolder was placed at the fire station for the memorial, and Baar was still raising funds to place a memorial plaque on the boulder when he died.

Bruursema said Baar had a great love of history, and liked to buy items for the township's restored DeTray School when he was visiting antique shops.

Event Type: Fundraiser 

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