Restaurants help mourning family

August 29, 2009 5:59:25 PM PDT
A few restaurants around Raleigh served their customers with a bigger purpose Saturday.Wages and tips collected by wait staff were given to a family whose 6-year-old daughter was killed less than two weeks ago.

Ashley Ramos-Hernandez, a first-grader at Green Elementary School, was getting off her school bus on North Hills Drive when police said an 83-year-old driver passed the stopped bus and hit her.

Hernandez's parents, Elena and Alfonzo, both work at a couple of restaurants in Raleigh.

On Saturday, their co-workers donated what they earned, to help the family during their tough time.

"It's something that's on the minds of our staff everyday that they come to work," Managing Partner Jay Spungin said. "We did this on a voluntary basis and almost every member of my staff has volunteered to work today."

At Vivace, a restaurant in Raleigh's North Hills, they offered items for a silent auction to also raise money for the family.

"We don't have the ability to ease their pain, but we do have the ability to make sure that on a financial side of things, we're taking care of them." Manager John Stair said.

Alfonzo Hernandez also works at Coquette, another restaurant where servers volunteered Saturday to donate their earnings.

"More than willing, I don't think there was ever a question in anyone's mind," Chef Rob Bland said. "We wish we could do more."

There was four restaurants total where employees donated some or all of their earnings to Hernandez's fund.

They were Vivace, Coquette, Porter's City Tavern and Frazier's Bistro.

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