Folks, every once in awhile, a request comes in that’s so important that I drop everything else I’m doing, and put 100% of my energies into it. This is one of those times.
Eric Reid, Chef of Del Ray Pizzeria, formerly Chef of Del Merei Grille, has made the request, and we must rally for him. Eric employs two dishwashers, Enma Gomez, and her son, Elder Gomez. Last week, Enma’s daughter, and Elder’s sister, Claudia, was murdered in cold blood in her home in Honduras. She had four children, ages 4 through 14, who are now motherless. After the funeral, the children came up to be with their father and the rest of their family, and are now staying in Alexandria.
Here is the news report (if you Google “Claudia Yaneth Membreño Gomez,” there are plenty of news stories about it), and the details of the benefit follow below:
PROGRESS, YORO, HONDURAS; Nov. 13 - Claudia Yaneth Membreño Gomez (32), mother of four, was murdered in her home. Claudia was serving dinner to her four children, ages four through fourteen, when three armed men entered to take her life. Membreño lived in the neighborhood of the Sociedad de Progresso.
Membreño had traveled extensively to the United States because of her husband's business contacts. Her husband is a resident of he USA. Police reports allege, Membreño was in her home preparing dinner for their children when the gunmen entered. One assailant took her to a separate room, while the others guarded the children. After shooting Membreño, the assailants fled the scene and the children were left in the home. The children called for emergency services which took Membreño to the public hospital in El Progresso, where she died. A relative reported that she had confided that 15 days ago strangers called the house and left messages "if you do not pay a certain amount of money, you would be killed ". Membreño was in the process of joining her Husband in the United States, and was ready to deliver evidence to Investigator lugar Agentes, of The National Directorate of Criminal Investigation ( DNIC ) reported already working on the case to catch the perpetrators.
Next Tuesday, November 26th, at 7:00 PM, Del Ray Pizzeria will be having a benefit dinner for the Gomez family. Eric has designed a special menu which will be served in the private dining area upstairs. The special menu is $40, with $20 of the cost going directly into the pockets of the Gomez family. In addition, the owners of Del Ray Pizzeria will match the $20 with their own money, so in essence, 100% of the proceeds ($40 per dinner) will be going directly to the Gomez family, in the form of a cash payment. There’s nothing indirect; they’re just going to hand them the cash.
In addition to this special menu, the owners of Del Ray Pizzeria have agreed that on this evening, 80% of the proceeds from regular menu sales (downstairs) will go directly to the Gomez family, also in the form of a cash payment.
So if you get the special menu, if will cost you $40, and 100% of that will benefit the family. If you eat downstairs, you can buy whatever you want, and 80% of what you spend will benefit the family.
And if that wasn’t enough, Chef Eric Reid is giving up 100% of his salary that day, and the servers and bartenders have agreed to give up 100% of their tips that evening. Again, all in the form of direct cash payment to the Gomez family.
Please note: you do NOT have to be a donrockwell.com member to support this cause. Just call the restaurant at (703) 549-2999 - I’ll figure out how to merge all the reservations with Eric later.
Here is the three-course menu:
Special Menu $40
Grilled Camerones with Mango Horseradish Sauce
Grilled Radicchio Salad with Chantrelle Mushrooms, Smoked Goat Cheese
Smoked Tuna with Roasted Garlic Pita Points
Low Country Perlou
Red Snapper, Clams, Shrimp, Potatoes and Chorizo
Braised Beef Short Rib with Roasted Root Vegetables and Chipotle Demi
Roasted Half Chicken with Pork Tamales and Chicken Jus
Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting and Rum Caramel Sauce
Please RSVP here, and indicate the number of people attending, and whether you will be ordering the special menu upstairs, or the regular menu downstairs. If by chance we can fill up all 38 seats upstairs, we can begin reserving for a second seating afterwards, but let’s worry about that problem when we come to it.
In addition, for those who cannot go next Tuesday night, but would like to help the Gomez family, I have a PayPal account set up, and will turn over 100% of all monies donated to the Gomez family - I will take the total amount, write Del Ray Pizzeria (or the Gomez family) a check, and print out the list of donations as an audit for all to see (if you want your name to read “Anonymous” just let me know). My PayPal email address is email@example.com.
So there are three ways to help this poor family, and I hope you take the opportunity to do so. I’m hoping to get a lot of people into the restaurant next Tuesday night, but if you can’t go, even just donating a couple of dollars will buy a child a meal.
It has been a long time since I have felt compelled to ask people in this community for money, but I’m asking now. I know that Eric is going to respond to this also. Please open up your hearts and your wallets for this family.