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VOL. 115 | NO. 168 | Monday, October 8, 2001

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Restaurants offer window of hope to Sept

Restaurants offer hope

to WTC attack victims


The Daily News

Among the thousands of victims who lost their lives in the World Trade Center attack were numerous foodservice personnel working throughout the twin towers.

In a spirit of friendship and solidarity, the Memphis Restaurant Association is joining more than 1,300 restaurants in New York and around the world Thursday by asking its members to donate 10 percent of the days sales to the Windows of Hope fund for the families of foodservice workers who died in the attack.

Foodservice workers include cooks, waiters, busboys, bartenders and managers. Most of these victims earned most of their money from tips and died without financial provisions in place for their families.

MRA executive director Wight Boggs said 50 restaurants had already signed up and she expected more to take part Thursday.

The Memphis response was one of the first after New York restaurants decided to make a special effort for those victims who had worked in the food industry.

It started out that we knew we wanted to do something. Its a perfect fit because it directly affects people we work with every day, she said.

One of the participating restaurants is Erling Jensens.

Jensen, originally from Denmark, sees his restaurants participation as a way to thank America for the opportunities he has found here.

Ive been very fortunate in this country. We are doing pretty well, and at times like this I think you can give a little bit back. Thats the main reason were doing it, he said.

Jensen said he hasnt really thought about what they will do but he wanted to assure his patrons they would know its something special when they walk in the door Thursday.

As well as those restaurants that are giving 10 percent of their days sales, several restaurants also are giving cash donations as their way to participate.

One such eatery is Neelys Bar-B-Que Restaurant. Patrick Neely said they are taking part because, like many others, they were overwhelmed by the tragedy in New York and wanted to do something to help.

Neely said also he was pleased to see the resurgence of the spirit of patriotism in America, and he felt it was the least his restaurant could do for the families of the victims.

I just urge everybody to get out and dine at our restaurants on Thursday so we can send a large donation to those people in New York, he said.

Another cash donation participant is the University Club restaurant. Executive chef Stan Gibson said not only will food service personnel and patrons be involved, staff from throughout the club will donate to the fund.

Were doing the Thursday event to collect gratuities because everybody is sensitive to the nature of restaurant people and that theyre going to have to live without their money provider, he said.

Gibson said he and other chefs from Memphis restaurants also took part in a Tailgate for Survivors food event in Overton Square Sunday.

The Windows of Hope fund started out as a response to the tragedy by Michael Lomonaco, Windows on the World executive chef, to help the families of the employees and other food industry personnel lost Sept. 11.

Among the missing are 78 employees of Windows on the World, which stood atop one of the towers, as well as food industry personnel who worked in numerous corporate dining rooms and other foodservice establishments.

As well as American eateries, restaurants in Canada, England, Puerto Rico, Taiwan and Antigua are taking part Thursday.

Participating Memphis restaurants include Alfreds, Andertons, Bar-B-Que Shop, Blue Monkey, Barksdales, Bravo! Ristorante, Bronte, Creole Cafe, Cafe Samovar, Captain Johns, Correales Brooklyn Bridge, East End Grill, Equestria, Erling Jensens, Grove Grill, Half Shell, Hueys, Jarretts, La Chine, Lillys Dim Sum, Lulu Grille, Mantias, McEwens on Monroe, Melange, Memphis Pizza Cafe, Mollys La Casita, Mortimers, Murphys, Napa Cafe, On Teur, Owen Brennans, Otherlands Coffee Bar, the Pier, Paulettes, Sekisui, Schlotzkys, Showboat BBQ, Three Oaks Grill, Tsunami, Wrappery, Wangs Mandarin House, Yia Yias and Zinnies East.

The MRA will have a full list of participants on its Web site www.memphisrestaurants.com.

PROPERTY SALES 56 295 6,392
MORTGAGES 26 180 4,035
BUILDING PERMITS 128 840 15,361
BANKRUPTCIES 31 153 3,270