One-man show by Paul Mast helps employees out of work after the fire at the Townsend business

Middletown’s historic Everett Theatre held a fundraiser Dec. 26 for the employees out of work as a result of the recent fire at Willey Farms in Townsend.

The event was a one-man show by Paul Mast entitled “A Cratchit Family Christmas” and told the story of Ebeneezer Scrooge and the Cratchit family after the events of “A Christmas Carol.”

The event raised $2,000 for the Willey Farms Employee Fund and was enjoyed by all in attendance.

“The Willey family has been very supportive of the Everett Theatre over the years,” said Rob Stout, the president of the theatre, “and we are happy to return the favor and support them and their employees in their time of need. This is what communities do. They come together to help each other.”

Update on Willey Farms

Although the buildings at Willey Farms were destroyed in the Nov. 5 fire, the business was able to sell Christmas trees and wreaths outdoors to help keep some workers employed.

With the overwhelming support from the community, it took just 16 days from Black Friday, Nov. 23 to Dec. 8 for the entire inventory to be cleared. That included tree sales that were three times higher than usual, said Donna Cavender from Willey Farms.

"We're hopeful that rebuilding can begin in late spring or early summer, but it will depend on how fast we can get through the red tape," Cavender said.

A major announcement about Willey Farms is planned in February, she said.