BUTTE, Mont. - A fundraiser looking to help rebuild the historic M&M Bar and Cafe in Butte has been set up following an early morning fire that left it a complete loss.
The GoFundMe has a goal of $100,000. If you would like to donate, you can do so here.
Kelly Merrick, a close family friend of M&M Owner Selina Pankovich, started the GoFundMe with hopes that if the fundraiser goes well, the money would be able to go to employees who lost any wages or put into another nonprofit organization that needs help in the area.
"As I got older I started doing Mixed Martial Arts competitively and Selina and the M&M was one of my biggest sponsors... It was one of my family’s favorite places to stop by for a some good food and drinks," Merrick said. "The M&M is iconic to Butte and Selina was able to bring it back, it was amazing, and my hopes are that the community of Butte will be able to help bring it back to the place we know and love."
Butte-Silver Bow Chief Executive J.P. Gallagher said the owner of the M&M, Selina Pankovich, is "the glue" for the Music on Main event hosted during the summer and will work to figure out an alternative .
“We’re going to make sure that we help that survive for our community, we already lost the Folk Fest on An Ri Ra, that tells you the character of the owner of this building, she was doing something to really do some great for our community so now it’s time for us to step up and do something great for her,” Gallagher said.
Firefighters and wrecking crews were able to save the iconic M&M Cigar Store sign before collapsing the building in on itself to contain the smoldering debris and not damage nearby businesses.
Tom Cronnelly, owner of the OMG! Mongolian Grill, said his building along with the party palace suffered from water and smoke damage but was most worried about the fate of the M&M.
“I know the community will rally behind Selina to help her rebuild it if that’s what she wants to do and I just hope that the M&M is not gone... it can’t be, this is too important to this community," Cronnelly said.