Accident leaves A&W owner struggling to recoverThe following is another “Have Fun or Get Out of the Way” column by Don Leighton and Mike Granlund and their alter egos, Lance Boyle and Billy Pirkola, which runs occasionally in the Superior Telegram.
By: Don Leighton, Superior Telegram
The following is another “Have Fun or Get Out of the Way” column by Don Leighton and Mike Granlund and their alter egos, Lance Boyle and Billy Pirkola, which runs occasionally in the Superior Telegram.
It says a lot when a community rallies around someone who needs help.
Superior and Douglas County residents always rise to heights of excellence when a need or problem is identified. I am proud to live in this area where the glass is half full, needs of others are important, and life is not only about oneself.
Recently, a person who lives her life helping others and giving back to the community, Avis Phelps, suffered serious injury at her business, the Superior A&W.
The first A&W opened in 1946 at the same location but was nothing more than a building in the shape of a 20-foot-square box. The only service was walk-up.
The business has changed dramatically — with sit-down service inside and carhop service outside. Avis purchased the business and began ownership Jan. 1, 1998, and will be celebrating 15 years of providing some of the greatest food in our area, not to mention the out-of-this world root beer floats.
June 26 was a normal work day at the restaurant on Catlin Avenue and Belknap Street. That was until a freak accident occurred where Avis was seriously burned by hot grease from her waist to her ankle on both legs. After a hurried 911 call, the ambulance arrived and transported her to the Miller Dwan Burn Unit in Duluth. Weeks were spent in the ICU, and four skin grafts were performed. She was released July 16 and went to her mother’s for excellent care. She returned to her home on July 27 and is tackling stairs again.
The care she received from medical personnel has been incredible. Avis has a special message for those who have helped and are continuing to help in her recovery.
“I would like to thank, with all my heart, all the medical staff from the ambulance drivers to the nurses and doctors who took such good care of me at Miller Dwan,” she said.
As a small business owner working to keep her business going during these tough economic times, Avis has no insurance or workers compensation to help her with the negative financial condition in which this accident has placed her. For almost 15 years, she has worked her tail off providing jobs for many young people in our area.
“Avis is one of the nicest people that I have ever known and is willing to help anyone when she can,” said Annie Comption, one of those young employees. “I am glad that she is my boss and my friend. That day was an awful day, but I am glad that she is healing. I want to thank all of the people willing to help her out in her time of need.”
That says volumes about Avis. Compton has been working for, and with, Avis since the beginning. Her opinion is well-founded because she has seen first-hand what kind of person Avis is — always generous and endlessly giving back to the community through donations, support of others and volunteer work.
Now, Superior and Douglas County residents, it is time to join together to take care of Avis and help her in her time of need. She will need our support dealing with her emotional, physical and financial recovery.
In her absence, things have been running smoothly because of her sons, Brian and Mark and the incredibly talented and loyal staff. Stop in, have some great food, and if you are able, leave a donation.
Laurie Dolsen, Lisa Severson, Lorrie Prendergast and Jodi Rochon have organized a Spaghetti Dinner Benefit that runs 2-7 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 12 at Christ Lutheran Church, 320 N. 28th St., Superior. For a spaghetti dinner with bread, coleslaw, desserts, coffee, juice or water, your cost is $7 for ages 13 and older, $5 for ages 6-12, and free, 5 and under. There will be a silent auction, bake sale, Chinese and 50/50 raffle. You need not be present to win. All money raised will go to help with her mounting medical bills.
Tickets can be purchased at the door. If you cannot attend, send a donation to Benefit Fund for Avis Phelps c/o Superior Choice Credit Union, 2302 E. Second St., Superior, WI 54880.
Contact Laurie Dolsen at (218) 390-0008 or email@example.com; or Jodi Rochon at (218) 349-0943 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Poet and writer Flora Edwards has written: “In helping others, we shall help ourselves, for whatever good we give out completes the circle and comes back to us.”
Let’s help ourselves by helping Avis. After all, who doesn’t like spaghetti?
Opinions and/or story ideas can be e-mailed to email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.