Community comes together to support Lansing Eastside Gateway

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LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – Hundreds of people flooded the Allen Neighborhood Center in Lansing tonight to support a woman who recently lost her business, and friend, in a fire.

Helping out those in need: that was the goal tonight at the Allen Neighborhood Center.


“We’re hopeful that a spaghetti fundraiser and silent auction tonight will help her get back on her feet,” said Joan Nelson, the executive director of the Allen Neighborhood Center.

Nelson is talking about Yvonne LeFave, the owner of the Lansing Eastside Gateway. A fire tore through the Gateway last month, and LeFave lost everything in the building, including her friend John Bolan, who’s body was found inside.

“When we rebuild, if we can rebuild, when we rebuild, there will be a garden in his memory,” said LeFave.


The Gateway served as a hub for different vendors in the community, who lost all of their things as well.

LeFave says the community’s support is overwhelming, to say the least.

“It’s phenomenal to have support,” said LeFave. “You know, when you’re a small business owner it feels like you’re just out there on your own doing your thing and maybe nobody notices, but then when something like this happens, you realize there was an impact to what you were doing.”


Nelson says this is just what Lansing is all about.

“The entire Lansing community is a community that turns out to assist when one of our members has suffered a pretty devastating loss in the way that Yvonne has,” said Nelson.


Now, LeFave plans on pushing forward.

“Insurance is kind of important, but so is community support,” said LeFave.

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