60 days after devastating fire, Gigi’s Playhouse continues on the road to rebuild

Aftermath of the fire which destroyed Gigi's Playhouse and several other businesses on May 11,...
Aftermath of the fire which destroyed Gigi's Playhouse and several other businesses on May 11, 2021.(Valley News Live)
Published: Jul. 12, 2021 at 2:40 PM CDT
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FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) - Two months after a fire destroyed Gigi’s Playhouse in south Fargo, they’re thanking the community for support as they continue on the path to rebuild.

They say, over the last 60 days, they’ve learned how important their programs are to the participants and families.

“Individuals with Down syndrome are having a hard time understanding “why” GiGi’s looks different, more than we initially realized,” leaders of Gigi’s wrote in an update to their supporters. “GiGi’s has been a place to play, socialize, learn, and develop life-long skills to help achieve success. Our place and programs look different now, but our mission continues to grow deep as we educate, inspire, and believe in rebuilding the playhouse. Our ‘why’ is the driving force for the Board of Directors, team, and volunteers as we focus on our goals of reopening our doors to continue to serve our community!”

Over the last 60 days, Gigi’s has resumed a limited in person program schedule with over 100 hours of participation in June. They launched additional programs in July such as Language Music N’ Our Peeps and GigiFIT for Teens and Adults.

They found a temporary space, but realized it was not meeting the needs of growing program demands, so they’ve secured a new temporary space and say new business hours are coming soon.

Gigi’s also launched a 21-day social media campaign to jump start fundraising efforts with help from the Dakota Medical Foundation and matching funds from the Alex Stern Foundation, FM Raise Your Spirits and The Engelstad Foundation.

The Golf FORE Gigi’s event is happening on July 26 at the Moorhead Country Club. Community members can play as an individual or bring a team. Registration is open and includes 18 holes of golf with a cart, lunch, and a social hour after the tournament.

Another way you can support the Gigi’s rebuild project is by buying something off their Amazon Wish List.

The fire on May 11 at the SouthPointe Business Center, which destroyed Gigi’s Playhouse and damaged other businesses, has been deemed arson by fire investigators. The Fargo Fire Marshal estimates total damage from the fire at $1.25 million. Gigi’s says they’ll need $3.5 million to rebuild the playhouse.

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