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Account set up for A&W owners at Kitsap Bank

Community members wishing to donate money toward Buck’s A&W owners Rick and Karin Gehring’s legal debts can contribute to an account set up at Kitsap Bank, local business owner Carmen Bloomfield-Martin said Thursday.

“Every cent is guaranteed to go toward their legal fees,” Bloomfield-Martin said, explaining that she felt compelled to help the family after hearing that the business is being forced into bankruptcy due to legal fees stemming from a lawsuit filed by two former employees.

She said the account was set up after she went to Buck’s A&W in Port Orchard to express her thanks and sadness to Rick Gehring, but to also ask whether he had set up an account already. He hadn’t, so she said she practically dragged him down to the bank to set one up.

“He had a tip jar set up for collections, so I asked him what that was for, and he said he was dividing all the money amongst his employees, since they were losing their jobs,” she said. “After all they have done for us and given to the community, Rick is still thinking of people in this community before himself.”

Bloomfield-Martin, who owns Carmen’s Connections and Robes Elegante, said the goal of the account was not necessarily to pay off the debt, though she said she would love to see them be able to remain open.

“But if everybody just gave back what they have given to us, that would be great,” she said. “And if we could exceed (the debt) and they stay open, that would be awesome.”

She said there is a rally planned for most of the day Saturday at the restaurant, from noon until closing. Also, she said local car clubs are planning on visiting also on Sunday, the day the restaurant is currently scheduled to close.

The account at Kitsap Bank is called the “Gehrings’ fund.”

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