Jennifer Palmer has owned the Sanford Sport Shop for nearly 20 years. When the Edenville Dam failed it sent a flash flood through downtown; filling her store with water a foot from the ceiling.
“We walked in with waders on and the water was still up to our chests,” says Palmer. “We stood there for the last three hours just gathering products as they were floating out of wall that was caved in.
Her livelihood wasn’t the only thing Palmer lost that day. Her home was also attached to the store, now stripped to the studs.
“I have an apartment next store. I’ve been living there since April and just got it done and complete and I’ve been living there, so that’s totaled as well.”
Coworker Judy Howson has worked at the Sanford Sport Shop for 25 years. Looking at the store now, she says breaks her heart.
“It’s like you lost a family member but you’ve got nobody to mourn. It’s just 25 years of spending more time in there than at home,” says Howson.
Now, Palmer and Howson are salvaging what they can, while trying to stay strong for Sanford.
Howson says, “So many lost so much, the blessing is nobody lost their lives. Houses and furniture can be rebuilt or bought and go from there.”
“Now it’s time to get over that and start looking forward, you’ve got to move forward,” says Palmer.
On May 19, 2020, Jennifer Palmer lost her livelihood and home when a catastrophic dam failure in Edenville, MI sent 21.5 billion gallons of lake water from Wixom Lake rushing towards Sanford Lake, subsequently causing the levee and dam in Sanford to fail and ultimately Her Gofundme page is decimating the village of Sanford and many small businesses.
Jennifer has owned the Sanford Sport Shop near the Sanford dam since 2001 and has become a dependable and essential mainstay for Sanford residents and visitors. She has supplied our area with bait and tackle supplies, hunting supplies, party store essentials, and hunting and fishing licenses for almost 20 years, continuing the legacy of Ron and Bob Fauver who ran the business for the 30 years prior.
As a small business owner, you put your whole life, time and energy into making a livelihood. It is absolutely devastating that something completely out of her control could take so much from her.
Just like everyone else affected by this catastrophic event, her insurance policy and holder is not covering any of her losses or damages. Not only did she lose her business but she also lost her home that was attached to her business, essentially making her homeless and jobless. This is a terrible situation for everyone in our area but it is twofold for Jennifer and we desperately want to help her by giving her some financial relief and hope so she can rebuild in our community.
Thank you for any and all help you can give to Jennifer and to all of Sanford by helping to get our bait shop back on its feet.