"Tested by Fire Fest" aims to raise money for church repairs

Festival also honored first responders

INDIANAPOLIS - Parishioners gathered together for a festival to raise money to help pay for the restoration of a church damaged by arson.

The event was held in the 120 block of West Georgia Street from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday afternoon.

St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church still shows physical scars from an arson attack in February.

“Tested by Fire Fest” was put together to help heal the emotional scars still felt by parishioners after the fire.

“You know, when you have an arson, there’s a lot of stuff around that and people need to have some healing, so we’re working toward forgiveness,” said Pastor Rick Nagel.

The monetary goal of the street festival was to raise $25,000.

The money was needed to help repair the damage from the arson because insurance would not cover all that was needed.

“It’s an effort to begin the restoration fundraising for the church,” Nagel said.

Church leaders said the event was also held to honor the first responders and thank them for their quick response on the day of the fire.

The festival included games, a live band, food, drinks and an auction. People said they came to have fun and help out.

“Also a great chance to give back to the community, to be with fellow parishioners and just have some fun, great energy and fellowship with Indianapolis,” said Laura Schlafer.

Follow Drew Smith on Twitter: @drewsmith1

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