UPDATE: If you would like to make a monetary donation to help Tony rebuild his business, you can do so at any First Federal Bank in the tri-county area. Donations can be made in person at the counter or via the night drop box with a note that the money is for Tony the Peanut Man. All the proceeds will go to a special account set up for him. The bank will also deliver any personal notes written to Tony.---
UPDATE: The RiverDogs have announced that they will sell peanuts during the upcoming four-game homestand (April 19-22) against the West Virginia Power and donate a portion of the proceeds to Wright. No word yet on who will supply the peanuts. There will also be a donation station in the stadium at Guest Services.---
A benefit event is in the works for Anthony Wright, the vendor known to Charlestonians as Tony the Peanut Man, who lost all of his cooking equipment in a fire Tuesday.
A meeting will be held on Thursday at 1 p.m. at Triangle Char & Bar in West Ashley for anyone interested in planning an event to help Wright get back on his feet. Camille Key, owner of event planning company Charleston After Dark, says a few business owners and Blackbaud employees have confirmed that they will participate.
Dave Echols, general manager of the Charleston RiverDogs, says the baseball team will be doing something to help out the longtime peanut seller during the upcoming home stretch against the West Virginia Power, which begins Thursday night at 7:05 p.m. The team is expected to announce the promotion on its Facebook page soon.
Echols says Wright has been selling peanuts at Joseph P. Riley Jr. Stadium for at least 15 years now. "He's definitely a mainstay ballpark character in a good way," Echols says. "I think the fans definitely associate RiverDogs games with Tony and vice versa."
Echols says that when he found out what had happened to Wright, his answer was "a foregone yes" to helping the longtime vendor out. "When you're a partner with somebody for that long and you run into some terrible news or bad luck or, God forbid, something like this, we certainly want to try to help as best we can."
Wright had a tough day on Tuesday. In the middle of the night, he found out his peanut production equipment had caught fire in his backyard. By the time the blaze was put out, over $10,000 worth of damage had been done, by his estimation.
For a lot of us, that means no more of his famous boiled peanuts for a while. For Wright, that means he's starting back at square one, as none of his equipment was insured. Many people have expressed an interest in helping the Peanut Man recover his losses, and one woman who grew up buying his peanuts at Wando High School football games sent an e-mail to the City Paper asking how she could send him a check.