Keys bar giving away money plastered on its walls

Sparky’s Landing owners Matt and Carolyn Anthony might not be making any money off their popular Key Colony Beach bar and restaurant at the moment, but a number of other Middle Keys residents sure are.

The Anthonys closed on Monday for repairs and renovations and while they were at it decided to give the Sadowski Causeway eatery a fresh new look. Part of that meant taking down several thousand dollars worth of $1 bills stapled all over the inside of the bar.

The couple got in touch with local Little League President Sean Kirwan and assistant Marathon High School football coach Jason Long to offer donating the bills to local athletes.

Each group came in for two hours this past weekend to collect the bills. Matt and Carolyn were pulling dollars right alongside of them.

“People put them up there so they could remember their trip and their time here and we thought the best way to honor that was to give it to a good cause. No better cause than to give it to the kids,” Matt Anthony said.

The Little League group came away with $1,300, while the Dolphins football team came away with $1,600. Kirwan and Marathon head football coach Lance Martin praised the Anthonys for their generosity.

Kirwan told KeysNet that the money his group collected will go toward “always expensive” new uniforms and equipment for the kids.

It’ll help our association a lot. Without people in the community like Matt and Carolyn, our organization couldn’t exist. It was really nice of them to do,” Kirwan said.

Martin said that community donations are always appreciated because the high school finances athletic programs largely through fundraisers and gate proceeds.

“It was a great gesture and it helps our program. All our costs are taken on by the Athletic Department,” he said.

The Anthonys pulled another $1,300 off the walls and used it to help their employees get through the time Sparky’s is closed. They hope to reopen the bar by Wednesday.

Key Colony Beach Marina owner Terry Fisher began the tradition of stapling dollars on the walls just after the Anthonys opened the bar in February 2006.

“He started it for good luck and then more people wanted to wish us good luck and from there it kept going and going,” Matt said.

The Anthonys have been aiming for a new look for some time, but never wanted to shut the business down. They decided to go for it when some structural repairs made it necessary to close for a time.

Improvements include a new bartop, new light fixtures and carpet, refinished tabletops and replacing and widening the walkway leading to the entrance.