Immediately following the fire, Happy Daze’s future was uncertain
When you work nine years to establish yourself as a valuable member of the business community, it’s tragic when your accomplishments go up in flames. But that’s what happened to Melinda and “FCKN” Frank Trejo. On May 22, Happy Daze, their smoke shop in Alice, Texas, burned to the ground, along with another neighboring business.
It was a tragic loss for the husband/wife owners who lost over $125,000 in merchandise, as well as TVs, laptops, computers, furniture, local artist paintings and family photos. “People tried to comfort me by saying ‘At least it wasn’t your house,’” Melinda says. “Frankly, I’d rather it have been my house.”
Franks adds, “We’ve been married 20 years. We don’t have kids. Our store is our baby.”
The Trejos were overwhelmed by the outpouring of support from the local community, which has organized a fundraiser. “When we opened, we weren’t necessarily welcomed. There was a lot of suspicion,” Melinda recalls. “But we established ourselves. People found out that we’re not marihuanos; we’re not druggies. We give back to our town. The cannabis industry is evolving and people are learning the truth about cannabis. Now the town is supporting us.”
When CHAMPS CEO Jeff Hirschfeld heard the news, he instantly decided to help the Trejos. “When someone gets hurt in our industry, we all hurt,” Jeff said.
At the upcoming CHAMPS Summer Show in Las Vegas, sponsors will be required to donate a minimum of $100 of merchandise, at no cost, to help rebuild Happy Daze. Additionally, sponsors will be offering the Trejos additional items, up to $1,000, at a 33 percent discount.
CHAMPS is asking other exhibitors to join the fundraiser. We’re suggesting a donation of $50 in merchandise or a 33 percent discount on purchases. Gage Rubber, a CHAMPS’ sister company, will be providing a $250 order to Happy Daze at no cost.
Melinda and Frank are long-time CHAMPS attendees and credit the show for helping them build their store. “We are so thankful for the many people who have reached out to say they’re sorry and how much they loved Happy Daze,” Melinda says. “It’s been super-emotional. Our industry is like family.”
Cover Image By: Pete Garcia – Alice Echo