How You Can Help Those Affected by Building Collapse Tragedy

Friday’s tragedy in Downtown Sioux Falls struck a chord with many, and the community is beginning to come together to support the families and businesses affected.

Brienne Maner with DTSF, Inc. says she’s been overwhelmed by the generosity of the entire community, as seen in the multiple GoFundMe pages set up.

“We didn’t even have a chance to get in and doing anything because the public was just wrapping their arms around the people affected by this,” Maner said. She said in the aftermath, she was receiving phone calls and emails constantly from people asking how they could help.

There is a GFM account set up for the Fodness family; the daughter, Emily, was rescued from the rubble Friday afternoon along with their dogs. The whole Fodness family lived in an apartment above the Copper Lounge and now don’t have a permanent residence.

Another GFM account is set up for the family of Ethan McMahon, the young man who was killed in the collapse. In just four days, nearly $18,000 has been raised for his family to help cover any expenses they may have. A prayer and memorial service for Ethan McMahon will be held Monday evening at the First Lutheran Church at 327 S Dakota Ave in downtown Sioux Falls beginning at 7 p.m.

The owner of Maxwell Food Equipment, Larry Werner, has also established a GFM account to raise some money for those who work in the businesses affected. Werner says those people will be without income for an indefinite period and wants to help with their bills and finances.

Maner says some businesses in the Beach Pay building may be closed for a few more days. She says Urban Archeology, PAve, 605 Running Company, Half-Baked, Bender Commercial, and Beckman Construction closed their doors over the weekend. 605 Running Company will be closed on Monday, Dec. 5. Maner says to keep an eye on each business’ Facebook pages for updates on openings.

“Keep those shop owners in your thoughts as well,” she said. “This is a tough time of year especially being it’s the holiday season. I’m so proud of the empathy that’s coming from the community, saying, ‘Is it OK for us to come down and shop? What’s the appropriate thing to do at this time?’ We really do want you to come downtown and support these businesses that are working hard.”

Maner also says there are many street closures to keep an eye on as well. East 10th St. is closed from 2nd Ave to Main Ave. Phillips Ave remains closed from 9th St. to 11th St. Commuters are asked to take 8th St or 14th St. Multiple parking ramps and garages are still open, and Sioux Area Metro buses will still run from the downtown depot.

Maner also stresses staying away from the area of the collapse, whether in car or on foot. First responders are still on site working all hours of the day and need space to work safely. She says more updates can be found on the DTSF website as time goes on.