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Community Comes Together for Montezuma Valley Market


Last updated 6/10/2021 at 10:40am

Photo Courtesy of Kristi Sisson

A family's dream of building a thriving market and making improvements in a small community faced a tragic obstacle, after a fire burned it all away.

On April 18, the market that Mike and Kemi Pavlocak poured their hearts into, burned down.

The store was fully engulfed in flames by the time fire crews arrived. The fire had caused more than $350,000 worth of damages.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

However, things can only move forward from here, and the Pavlocak's are looking on the bright side with the help of the community.

In possibly one of many fundraisers, on May 15, cyclists rode from Christmas Circle up the Montezuma Grade to the Montezuma Valley Market parking lot for a bike fundraiser.

Kristi Sisson who helped organize the fundraiser said, "It's a great training ride for cyclists to ride up the grade, then they get refreshments and food at the Market and either go back down, or continue onto wherever they are going."

Four riders took part in the bike ride – Sylvia Maas, Bryce Mueller, Todd Gunther and Diana Lindsay, and arrived around 7 a.m. at Christmas Circle before making the trek up the hill a little after 8:20 a.m.

At the market, there was a car show, as well as live music performed by two bands for all to enjoy.

Throughout the day, over 100 people showed up to enjoy the delicious food by Smokin' Aces, who served up smoked chicken, pulled pork, two sides, and a dinner roll with salad.

There was also twenty five raffle baskets filled with local jewelry, olive oil, themed baskets, salvaged gear, beer decor, booze baskets, and more.

On the Montezuma Valley Market Facebook page, Kemi Pavlocak posted her thanks to all that came out to support the first fundraiser, where they raised $4,942. However, more work is yet to be done.

The demolition of the old store has begun, and the process of cleaning up is slow going.

"The foundation will be inspected for damage. We are still waiting on an estimate from our general contractor, but discussed with them to also consider prefab to help reduce time and cost."

Mike and Kemi have signed paperwork to become the new owners of the future Market and the land it is on.

However, to help offset the cost to rebuild, they stated a loan is still needed to fill the gap.

"To those who have donated, we truly appreciate you, thank you. To those who can't, please share. Sharing has been a powerful tool to reach people."

As of May 24, the GoFundMe organized by Chesney Hoagland-Fuchs on behalf of the Pavlocak's, has raised over $77,000.

To donate, visit:

Despite the hardships, the Pavlocak's will not let anything hold them down, and will continue with their new dreams.

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