MOORE — The joke-bearing marquee sign in front of Moore Liquor had survived complaints to code enforcement, an F5 tornado and Westboro Baptist Church protesters before being damaged beyond repair this week by high winds during a thunderstorm.
However, Moore Liquor owner Bryan Kerr plans to buy a new sign, as well as donate money to the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma, after marquee fans rallied to raise money online to replace the damage sign.
Kerr has raised more than $1,000 in less than two days this week to purchase a new marquee sign for the front of his store after starting a page on the crowd-funding site GoFundMe.com. Moore Liquor is still accepting donations on the site at www.gofundme.com/savethemarquee
Whatever funds Kerr doesn’t spend on a sign will be donated to the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma’s Food For Kids Backpack Program to help feed hungry children at Moore Public Schools.
“It’s hard to get people to donate to charity, you have to sugarcoat it a little,” Kerr said. “People who like the sign get to feel like they’ve contributed in some way.”
The metal frame is bent and electrical wiring inside is fried after straight-line winds during a storm Monday. Kerr changed the sign lettering to read “Ouch” after the storm.
Kerr’s GoFundMe page “Save the Marquee!” described the loss of Moore Liquor’s sign as “loss of a great national treasure akin to the death of Nicolas Cage or the cancellation of ‘Temptation Island.’”
After creating the page Tuesday, Kerr had already reached his goal of raising $1,000 by Thursday morning and the page had been shared online by more than 1,400 people on Facebook.
Achieving a level of fame
The Moore Liquor store marquee is known for its quirky messages that Kerr changes regularly and posts online. The sign even prompted the notorious Westboro Baptist Church to visit Moore earlier this year and protest after Kerr posted a message on the sign offering a sale on champagne after the death of Westboro pastor Fred Phelps, which went viral online.
One recent sign offering was “Wine=Truth; Whiskey=Courage; Beer=Freedom; Tequila=Nudity.”
The damaged sign has caused a stir among Moore Liquor customers this week, causing many to offer to donate money to help purchase a new sign, store clerk Michael Bogan said.
“People think of it not as a store sign, but as something that belongs to the community,” Bogan said.