In the week since a beloved restaurant employee, friend, neighbor, and mother of four died from injuries sustained after being struck by a vehicle, the Del Ray business community hosted a fundraiser that raised $26,221.35 for her family.
During the "Rally for Rose" fundraiser on Tue., Dec. 13, restaurants on the St. Elmo's block of Mt. Vernon Avenue -- Market2Market, St. Elmo's Coffee Pub, Holy Cow, and Pork Barrel BBQ -- offered special menu items for a donation; the dinner fundraiser raised $11,380 for the family of Rose Cruz.
In addition,a number of Del Ray businesses donated over $5,000 in gift certificates and items for a raffle that was held during the event; the raffle, plus cash donations, raised an additional $14,841.35 "She brought so much love to all of us, her family, our staff, our customers, the whole community," said Larry Ponzi, the owner of Market2Market, St. Elmo's Coffee Pub, and Cafe Pizzaiolo. Cruz was the deli manager at Market2Market.
"It was a wonderful night showcasing the spirit of Del Ray," said Del Ray Business Association President Bill Blackburn, of Pork Barrel BBQ. "Rose was a positive force in our community, this tragedy leaves a painful wound."
Rose Cruz, 49, passed away on Dec. 4 from injuries sustained after being struck by a vehicle while crossing Mt. Vernon Avenue at W. Glebe Road. She lived in Alexandria with her husband and their 10-year-old and 12-year-old daughters. She also has a 26-year-old daughter and a 19-year-old son in the Phillippines.
For those who want to make a donation, a GoFundMe account has been set up at https://www.gofundme.com/family-of-rose-cruz. To date, the GoFundMe account has raised over $50,000.