People came together in Steveston Saturday to raise nearly $9,000 for employees effected by a fire that a burned down a grocery store that has been a staple in the community for decades.

Flames tore through the Super Grocer on No. 1 road in late January. No one was injured but officials said there was no way the store itself could be saved and it was demolished soon after the blaze.

Alex Sagert, who has lived in Richmond for almost his entire life, said the loss of the store has been emotional for many who live in the area – which is why he organized the fundraiser to benefit the staff.

“We all grew up there,” he said, adding that his memories of the store include renting VHS tapes as a kid, going to the shop for lunch with friends, and buying flowers for his mom there every Mother’s Day.

“It’s really vital for our whole community.”

The festivities included a silent auction, a raffle, food and face painting. Of 200 tickets, 190 had sold by the time the event was set to get underway.

“The community really came together to contribute to this,” Sagert said.

Sagert said the total amount raised was $8,600. All the money raised will be distributed evenly among the workers.