Evergreen businessman Jim Sherwood has had the task this week of making people cry — and laugh, and shout for joy.
Sherwood, who was the impetus behind a fund-raising event Nov. 2 at the Elks Lodge that raised $30,000 for victims of the September flooding in Evergreen, hand-delivered most of the 27 checks early this week.
On Monday morning, he met with the owners of Cactus Jack’s Saloon and several of its employees, plus the building owner, to present checks.
Sherwood declined to say how much each person received.
When Allen Major, owner of the iconic building at Highway 74/73, opened the envelope, he abruptly sat down and burst into tears.
“I never had anybody give me anything,” Major said. “I feel guilty taking it because there are others who deserve it. It’s wonderful. I feel a little overwhelmed.”
Cactus Jack’s owner Megan Mitchell and several of the saloon’s employees hugged Major as he tried to control his emotions.
“Everybody has smiles,” one of the employees remarked as she looked at the group.
Another added, “Let’s get (Cactus Jack’s) open, so we can get back to work.”
The restaurant and bar is slated to reopen in early December.
Sherwood said checks were given to two residents, 14 business owners and 11 employees or self-employed people. The committee that made the awards tried to be judicious and fill as many requests as possible.
The committee included representatives from the Elks Lodge and the Mountain Foothills Rotary, which were co-sponsors of the event, the Mountain Resource Center, the Seniors’ Resource Center and other community organizations.
Sherwood is proud that it’s taken only two weeks since the event to distribute the money.
“I hope that what we raised will help,” he said as he prepared to visit other donation recipients. “Now I’m going to deliver some checks and shake some hands.”