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Tattoo fundraiser draws crowd to assist with tornado recovery – messenger-inquirer

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Grant Jackonski is shown getting a tattoo from Downtown Classic Tattoo owner and artist, Sean Manea. On Saturday, the local business hosted a Helping Hands Community fundraiser to help residents who were impacted by the devastating tornadoes last December. One hundred percent of the proceeds is dedicated to local charities and organizations participating in tornado recovery operations.
Sarah Cumbie arrived on Saturday prepared to get her 13th tattoo and contribute to the tornado recovery cause in western Kentucky. She traveled from Kevil to get tattooed at Downtown Classic Tattoo in Paducah for the first time.

Grant Jackonski is shown getting a tattoo from Downtown Classic Tattoo owner and artist, Sean Manea. On Saturday, the local business hosted a Helping Hands Community fundraiser to help residents who were impacted by the devastating tornadoes last December. One hundred percent of the proceeds is dedicated to local charities and organizations participating in tornado recovery operations.
Sarah Cumbie arrived on Saturday prepared to get her 13th tattoo and contribute to the tornado recovery cause in western Kentucky. She traveled from Kevil to get tattooed at Downtown Classic Tattoo in Paducah for the first time.
After tattooing 101 people Saturday, Downtown Classic Tattoo raised approximately $5,000 to help tornado survivors in western Kentucky.
Sean Manea owns Downtown Classic Tattoo on Market House Square in Paducah. On Saturday, he and his staff hosted a Helping Hands Community Fundraiser to assist community members affected by the devastating tornadoes last December.
“We don’t do roofs or build houses, but we thought — in another way — we could do something that was beneficial,” Manea said. “It was a bigger turnout than expected.”
Manea is a Paducah native. After leaving the Navy and returning home in 2015, he arrived intrigued by tattoo culture and the craft.
He opened Downtown Classic Tattoo during the COVID-19 pandemic in December 2020. He works with four tattoo artists, an apprentice and a full staff.
Manea and the artists did not set out seeking recognition for their cause, he explained. They figured making memories with tattoos and donating to the tornado recovery cause was necessary.
Manea said people showed up ready to donate, but weren’t necessarily there for a tattoo. Not all donors got tattoos that day.
He said a line formed on Broadway Street, leading to the shop Saturday morning an hour before the event. People traveled from nearby counties and states.
Square Up Tattoo Company in Murray hosted a similar event in January.
Manea said his shop was supposed to host its event in conjunction with Square Up’s, but inclement weather forced a rescheduling.
Square Up donated supplies that facilitated the event, as did Ultimate Tattoo Supply and Kingpin Tattoo Supply, both national distributors.
Manea is working with His House Ministries and other local charities.
“We tattooed people who were affected by the storm,” Manea said. “One of the ones we tattooed was in the candle factory when it came down in Mayfield.”
He added that the majority of people discovered the event on social media.
“They wanted to help out, and since they like tattoos, they figured it would be a good opportunity to help out and get a good tattoo at the same time.”
Sarah Cumbie traveled Saturday from Kevil to get tattooed and donate. She jumped at the chance to get inked for the 13th time. A friend joined her.
“I just wanted to donate and I love tattoos. It worked out well,” Cumbie told The Sun.
Jeremy Duffy is in the formative stages of his tattoo apprenticeship at the shop. His father, Patrick Duffy, is one of the artists. Jeremy Duffy is back and forth between Toms River, New Jersey, and Paducah. He moved to Paducah at age 3.
“I enjoy Paducah as a town and a place I was raised in,” he said. “So, it doesn’t surprise me to see all these people help out.”
He said the shop is a space for cultural continuity and provides a gathering space for tattoo enthusiasts.
“It’s given people the freedom to come and donate and come to downtown Paducah,” Jeremy Duffy said.
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