My VIP for this week is black retired firefighter in Minneapolis and 12,000 other people. Balla invested his life savings to open a sports bar in Minneapolis and then watched thugs loot it before burning it to the ground. He was reduced to tears as he watched his unopened bar go up in flames last week.
Balla’s plans to open his bar in March were derailed by COVID-19. Minnesota recently gave restaurants permission to begin opening on June 1, so Balla was gearing to open his bar on that date. When he saw that a pile of bricks was all that was left of his bar, he did not know what he would do. The bar was not insured, and the fruits of his investment had gone up in smoke.
Then he decided to try raising funds with a GoFundMe account to rebuild his bar. In less than 24 hours, the campaign brought in more than $160,000. A few days later it was $966,000. More than 12,000 donors dried Balla’s tears and brought him hope that he would again have a bar. I have no idea who any of the donors are, but I want them to know that they are true Americans who restored hope for a deserving man and his family.