Fire won’t stop Hickey’s Bar from holiday benefit

Landmark Ishpeming establishment Hickey’s Bar may have been reduced to a pile of rubble by a devastating fire in November, but the kindness of owner Brian Polkinghorne was not altered.

Despite the physical presence of the bar being gone, Polkinghorne is carrying on a Hickey’s tradition by organizing the bar’s 10th annual Salvation Army Benefit Nite, set to start at 7 p.m. Saturday.

Because of the fire, the location, obviously, had to change and the event this year will take place at the Venice Pub and Pizzeria on Second Street in Ishpeming.

All proceeds will go to the Salvation Army of Ishpeming’s Christmas food basket and toy collection.

There will be a silent auction, with the items to include both a football and a jersey autographed by the 2012 Ishpeming High School State Division 7 Champion team, the squad that made the trip to New York City for the Sports Illustrated honors event.

Raffles will take place throughout the evening along with drawings for door prizes donated by area businesses.

And music will be a big part of the event with live entertainment featuring The Slamtones, Drew and the Geezers, VIP, AJ Stone, the Wednesday Night Music Club, Trippin Hazard, Hart, Harp and Bones, and others.

Polkinghorne has not announced if Hickey’s will return to the Ishpeming community but he is demonstrating, again, why so many people mourned when the building was destroyed.

Through all sorts of community involvement, Polkinghorne and his family made Hickey’s a valuable part of his town for many decades.

By continuing the tradition of the Salvation Army benefit, he is proving that with a strong will, compassion and concern for those in need can rise like a phoenix, even from the devastation created by fire.

We salute Mr. Polkinghorne and all those assisting him in making this benefit a reality. They are helping provide a wonderful holiday to families who would have a dismal Christmas otherwise.

Thank you to the Hickey’s Bar family for its continued good work in the community.