Morgan George thought he was just unloading some weathered patio furniture he didn't need anymore when he posted on Facebook that he wouldn't be reopening the outdoor seating at Northwest Pizza & Pasta next spring. He clearly underestimated his fans.
George is known throughout the community for his financial support of schools, youth sports programs and all manner of other worthy causes, from feeding hungry firefighters to contributing to the Jackson County Council Against Domestic and Sexual Violence to supporting the Modern Roots Foundation. And the community wasn't about to let him down when he needed help.
George posted on Facebook that he couldn't afford the $1,000 permit he needed from the city because he was facing several thousand dollars in repair expenses to his restaurant. He offered the outdoor furniture and planters free to anyone who would come haul them away.
Amber Ekwall saw the post and offered to help. He told her he couldn't and wouldn't ask anyone for money, but she did it for him, setting up a GoFundMe page that quickly raised her $2,000 goal. It wasn't fast enough to beat the bargain hunters who already had hauled away the outdoor seating, so she upped the goal and raised more than $3,000 in nine days.
The rapid response should not be a surprise to anyone who knows this community. Ashland consistently supports its schools, young people and community services, and when a major contributor needed help, the community was there for him, too.