JACKSONVILLE BEACH, Fla. – A month after a popular pub in Jacksonville Beach was ordered to remove the dollar bills that had been stapled to its walls and ceilings as a tradition for 22 years, the more than $12,000 in cash found a new purpose: helping a local firefighter.
The Jacksonville Beach fire marshal ordered Lynch's Irish Pub in late December to remove the dollar bills because they were a fire hazard.
Many firefighters, who consider Lynch's their local watering hole, helped employees with the tedious task of pulling the $12,741 in bills down. In turn, Lynch's general manager Keith Doherty donated the cash to Jacksonville Firefighter Charities.
The group elected to give the money to firefighter Ronald Raybon, who was diagnosed at the beginning of the year with cancer in his abdomen.
The news meant the Jacksonville Beach fireman might soon be forced to sideline his life's calling battling flames to face an even bigger fight.
“It can wear you down, and you have to push back in order to keep your strength,” Ronald Rabon said. “And part of that is the family and friends that are with you.”
Rabon was touched by the donation.
“First off, thank you,” Rabon said through tears. “To even think of me and my family is something that will never be forgotten. But to have it come from a local business here in our jurisdiction really means a lot.”
Rabon said he is leaning on the strength of everyone around him to get him through each day, and he's thankful for all the support from his family, his firefighting family, and the community.