BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — It’s been more than a month since 37-year-old Buffalo firefighter Jason Arno died while battling a fire on Main Street.
Colleagues and community members gathered at Hartman’s Distilling Company on April 16 to support the family of Jason Arno.
Aaron Glauser of Buffalo Bourbon Enthusiasts teamed up with Hartman’s to put on the event.
“Obviously, we wish he was standing here, instead of not,” said Glauser. “But, to be able to be here and see what he meant to the community both from the firefighters and community at large.”
Video: Watch remembrance services as fallen Buffalo firefighter Jason Arno laid to rest
100% of the money made from the fundraiser will go toward the Arno family.
Glauser said between food, drink, raffle and ticket sales, they’ve raised about $20,000.
“It’s really been a total community piece where you have the community donating the things we’re raffling off to the community coming in to support that by buying tickets,” said Glauser.
Jenna Jamieson is the wife of an Engine 1 firefighter who helped battle the Main Street fire.
She said the Buffalo Fire Department is a family that always rallies together.
“The best family to marry into a fireman family,” Jamieson said. “So, we support each other no matter what.”
Co-founder of Hartman’s Distilling, Jen Hartman, said her business is for the community. She told News 4 it was a no-brainer to offer up the space to honor a hero.
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“He was a really giving, selfless individual and I do think that the community has recognized that and really do everything they can to rally behind the family and help out,” Hartman said.
Mike Reuben is the general manager of Hartman’s Distilling.
“You can never fill a void of a guy like Jay. but, knowing that an entire city and some are behind you and I think that’s all you can ask for,” said Reuben. “And that’s all we want to do is be there for Sarah and her family.”
Mike told News 4 that the minute Glauser pitched the fundraiser they planned everything in just one day. Tickets for the fundraiser also sold out a few days after going on sale.
Again, all of the proceeds will go to help support the Arno family.
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Patrick Ryan is an award-winning reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 2020. See more of his work here and follow him on Twitter.