Love Shack Owner Raises Funds for Johns Creek Fire Victims

Sunday, July 15, 2007

JOHNS CREEK, Ga. – Love Shack owner John Cornetta is in the news again, raising funds to aid victims of a recent fire in the community that has spent $150,000 to shut his business down.

Cornetta plans to donate 1% of June sales income from his five stores and 2% of June sales from his controversial Johns Creek store to assist in the development of a fire department in Johns Creek. He has additionally pledged a personal donation of $1,000 to a memorial fund for Fulton County firefighter Felix Roberts, and to the family of Johns Creek resident John Callahan, who died in the blaze May 28.

“I couldn’t be any happier to turn over these checks to the Felix Roberts Memorial Fund and the Callahan family,” said Cornetta. “I own a home and a business in the community of Johns Creek and I am set to open a second business in Johns Creek. There’s nothing that I’d love to see more than a working Fire Department for the city.”

Fulton County Fire Chief Larry Few responded to a Love Shack press release about the donation by characterizing the adult businessman’s actions as a tasteless grab for publicity. “You have sought to use the death of a hero and other firefighters in order [to] move forward with or push an agenda, and I personally find that unpleasant,” he told Cornetta.

“Some people have suggested that I am doing this because I have an agenda, they are right,” Cornetta said. “That agenda is to see people care more than they do, build bridges instead of divides and do what in their hearts they know is right. When I got the letter from Fulton County Fire Chief Larry Few that he did not want the money to go to the Felix Roberts Memorial Fund, I was angered at first. However, the very next day I got word from Tampa, Florida of thanks and encouragement from Charlie Mae Roberts, Felix’s mother. That was all it took to convince me we were on the right track.”

The 10,000-square-foot Love Shack store in Johns Creek opened in November of last year, just days before the small community incorporated as a city. The city has been trying to close the store down over zoning and license issues ever since — but Cornetta won’t back down.

“I have been arrested, threatened and my faith questioned in service of the Constitution of the United States of America,” he said in response to Few’s suggestion that he donate his money elsewhere. “And by God, I will die if necessary to defend and uphold her, and by God, I will raise and donate this money and you, sir, have absolutely no say in it whatsoever.”

Of the governorships in contention, 19 were held by democrats going into the midterm elections, while 18 were held by republicans

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