Community rallies around Santa Monica music center after COVID-19, looting double whammy

First it was hit by the COVID pandemic, then it was hit by looters!; now community members rally to help save the Santa Monica music center.
SANTA MONICA, Calif. (KABC) -- For nearly 50 years, the Santa Monica Music Center has been serving the community. Like so many businesses, they were hit hard when the COVID-19 pandemic broke out, losing approximately 70% of their income. Then, just over a week ago, something they could've never imagined: their business was decimated by looters. They lost practically everything.

"Well I feel terrible because she's a friend... and it's a family business, here since 1972," said Santa Monica resident Holly Williamson.

Williamson has stepped up and organized a GoFundMe campaign for the music Center; in a week, it's raised nearly $40,000 to help rebuild.

"We don't want this to become a new bank or, I love Starbucks, but I don't want it to become another Starbucks," said Williamson.

Lana Fernandez Negrete owns the music center with her father Chico.

"I am not going to stay down, we dust ourselves off, that's the kind of family we are," said Fernandez Negrete.

Now, with the windows boarded up, and inventory needing to be replaced, Fernandez Negrete is doing all she can to remain positive and focus on the future. She is beyond grateful.

"For you to step in and help me, just makes me feel like there is good because I saw so much hate and destruction... I'm just in so much gratitude and feel hopeful which honestly for the longest time I haven't felt at all," said Fernandez Negrete.

The ultimate goal is to raise $80,000.
Copyright © 2021 KABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.