Essence of Coffee owners raising funds for Australia fires

RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA TV) Michael and Lesley Fewson own Essence of Coffee in Downtown Rapid City.

Michael Fewson said all the aid raised for the Australian fires will be donated to the Salvation Army in Australia. (KOTA TV)

The Fewson's are originally from Australia where their daughter and grandchildren still live. So when a customer asked if they were doing anything to aid the fight against the Australia bush fires, they jumped on the idea and started fundraising.

For every pound of coffee beans they sell, two dollars will go toward aid. Along with accepting donations at the downtown location, the Fewson's opened an account at Black Hills Community Bank specifically for the donations -- so people can drop donations off directly at the bank if they wish.

Fewson's daughter runs the Essence of Coffee in Australia and told him earlier this week, the shop was unable to get milk because of the fires and the amount of smoke in the air was a concern.

"This morning we got an email from our daughter because there is a fire about five miles from our home. So we're safe from the fire but they're covered with smoke. So our daughter, our little grandchildren are walking around wish masks on because there is no escaping the smoke," said Michael Fewson, the Owner of Essence of Coffee.

Fewson said when he was a teenager a cyclone destroyed the whole city of Darwin where his family lived. The Salvation Army helped his family get food, money and clothing after they lost everything.

Because of the impact the Salvation Army had on his life, Fewson said all the donations raised for fires will go to the organization in Australia.