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Dinner for Slain Mother of Four - Tuesday, 11/26, 7 PM (Filled) and 9 PM - Please Read For Details

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#1 DonRocks

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Posted 19 November 2013 - 01:36 PM

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
or 
Grilled Radicchio Salad with Chantrelle Mushrooms, Smoked Goat Cheese
or
Smoked Tuna with Roasted Garlic Pita Points
 
Low Country Perlou
Red Snapper, Clams, Shrimp, Potatoes and Chorizo
or
Braised Beef Short Rib with Roasted Root Vegetables and Chipotle Demi
or
Roasted Half Chicken with Pork Tamales and Chicken Jus
 
Plantain Fosters
or 
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 donrockwell@dcdining.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.

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#2 Eric Reid

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Posted 19 November 2013 - 01:46 PM

Thanks Don. Thank you very much.

 

In the restaurant business, we are all family. The backbone of our family is unfortunately underrepresented and most times, not spoken for.  Without that strength, no restaurant could open it's doors. Sadly, tragedy struck our families heart at DRP. One of our dishwasher's sisters was gunned down in a senseless act of violence in Honduras. More tragically, this violence plagues our brothers and sisters from Central America everyday. It touches everyone. Not just in DRP but in every restaurant. It should touch every person. That is our mission now, to make more people aware of the struggles that face our foundation every day. In that vein, next Tuesday, we will be holding a special dinner to commemorate Claudia Membreno, her family, our family and all families that face violence as part of their lives. Proceeds will be be donated to the Membreno children and a charity aimed at raising awareness and abating the violence that has become endemic in Honduras and all of Central America.

 

I also wanted to mention that Elder's wife is my right hand man in the kitchen, so their family is the "backbone" of our restaurant.


Eric Reid
DRP
2218 Mt. Vernon Ave.
Alexandria, Va. 22301
703.549.2999
Ground Control Landscape Services

Missing DMG


#3 Smita Nordwall

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Posted 19 November 2013 - 04:25 PM

Eric, for those of us who can't come in to dine... is there a way we can contribute thru the takeout menu? Or just make a cash donation?



#4 DonRocks

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Posted 19 November 2013 - 04:41 PM

Eric, for those of us who can't come in to dine... is there a way we can contribute thru the takeout menu? Or just make a cash donation?

 

Smita, thank you for your interest in this. Read my third-to-last paragraph about cash donations - if you don’t have a PayPal account, I’m sure the restaurant would accept donations too.

 

I’d also like to thank Missy Frederick of Eater DC for picking up this story.

 

Source: Eater DC

delray.jpg
Image: Eater

Eater relays a post on DonRockwell.com that Eric Reid, Chef of Del Ray Pizzeria, is holding a benefit dinner in to assist a family of four children whose mother, Claudia Gomez, was murdered in Honduras last week. Claudia was the daughter of Enma Gomez and sister of Elder Gomez, who work at the restaurant. The family is currently staying in Alexandria.

Read full article >>


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#5 Eric Reid

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Posted 19 November 2013 - 05:28 PM

Eric, for those of us who can't come in to dine... is there a way we can contribute thru the takeout menu? Or just make a cash donation?

 

Don has the details. I haven't quite figured out to go orders for donations. Thank you so much for wanting to contribute. 

 

Questions like these are why I felt it was most important to talk to Don first. This community has always been very caring and why I enjoy this forum as much as I do.


Eric Reid
DRP
2218 Mt. Vernon Ave.
Alexandria, Va. 22301
703.549.2999
Ground Control Landscape Services

Missing DMG


#6 DonRocks

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Posted 19 November 2013 - 05:56 PM

Don has the details. I haven't quite figured out to go orders for donations. Thank you so much for wanting to contribute. 

 

Questions like these are why I felt it was most important to talk to Don first. This community has always been very caring and why I enjoy this forum as much as I do.

 

Well, we’re getting a lot of views - which is great - but I’m not convinced it will translate into dollars (Washington Post and Washingtonian, would you please pick up on this?)

 

Let me do my part for those who want to help, but may be starving students, etc.

 

For every post in the Professionals and Businesses Forum between now and Saturday at noon, I’ll donate $10. (Please remember that each new post needs to be 100 words; each follow-up post needs to be 50 words - all posts need to be signed with a real name, and only positive reviews are allowed.) Here’s the FAQ I wrote awhile back - if you have any questions, just write me.

 

If someone wants to go to the dinner for free, simply post four times and send me a PM, and I’ll buy your dinner (you’ll still need to leave a tip, but remember, all tips are also going to the Gomez family).

 

This is a chance for people to help businesses they believe in, while at the same time helping the Gomez family without spending a dime.

 

---

 

PS - Thank you, anonymous SH. You are our first (and as of 8 PM, only) donation.


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#7 Eric Reid

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Posted 19 November 2013 - 06:04 PM

Well, we’re getting a lot of views - which is great - but I’m not convinced it will translate into dollars (Washington Post and Washingtonian, would you please pick up on this?)

 

Let me do my part for those who want to help, but may be starving students, etc.

 

For every post in the Professionals and Businesses Forum between now and Saturday at noon, I’ll donate $10. (Please remember that each new post needs to be 100 words; each follow-up post needs to be 50 words - all posts need to be signed with a real name, and only positive reviews are allowed.) Here’s the FAQ I wrote awhile back - if you have any questions, just write me.

 

If someone wants to go to the dinner for free, simply post four times and send me a PM, and I’ll buy your dinner (you’ll still need to leave a tip, but remember, all tips are also going to the Gomez family).

 

This is a chance for people to help businesses they believe in, while at the same time helping the Gomez family without spending a dime.

 

That is so generous of you. I know you hate these links but I have no other words. 


Eric Reid
DRP
2218 Mt. Vernon Ave.
Alexandria, Va. 22301
703.549.2999
Ground Control Landscape Services

Missing DMG


#8 Simul Parikh

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Posted 20 November 2013 - 02:54 PM

Don, I'd love to go.. How to RSVP?



#9 DonRocks

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Posted 20 November 2013 - 02:54 PM

Don, I'd love to go.. How to RSVP?

 

You just did. Is it just you?

 

To RSVP, you can:

 

1) Reply here with the number of people

2) Send me a PM with the number of people

3) Call the restaurant

 

Eric and I will figure it out on Monday.

 

BTW, thank you to those who have made donations - on Tuesday, I will print out the list as a public audit.

 

---

 

Thank you also to Drew Hansen of delray.patch.com for picking up on this story.

 

---

 

We’ve gotten at least 3 RSVPs to the dinner, and several donations - but we need help from Washington Post and Washingtonian. This is NOT a donrockwell.com dinner; it’s a dinner benefitting the Gomez family, and I don’t care if this website is mentioned or not.


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#10 Simul Parikh

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Posted 21 November 2013 - 08:09 AM

I go there at least once a week, and though I don't know by name, I do see those friendly faces every time I go. What a horrible tragedy.

It will be me + 2. 

S



#11 Arcturus

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Posted 21 November 2013 - 11:19 AM

I'm in with my (much) better half.


-Adam Litchfield

 


#12 DonRocks

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Posted 21 November 2013 - 12:02 PM

I'm in with my (much) better half.

 

Thanks, Adam. 

 

We also just had a non-member - Jennifer, I don’t *think* you’re a member, are you? - reserve and pay for 2 meals via PayPal. This brings us up to 7 reservations, and we’ve had some wonderfully kind donations also: again, I will print out the entire list on Tuesday as a public audit.

 

So even if you aren’t a member here, you can reserve and pay for the Tuesday dinner using PayPal (please don’t forget to leave a 20% tip at the restaurant, and remember that 100% of the tips are also going to the Gomez family.)

 

Thank you to everyone for the responses so far - it is heart-warming to see people stepping up to support a family who they will never meet, but who they know is in a dire situation.


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#13 Eric Reid

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Posted 21 November 2013 - 02:25 PM

Thank you all!


Eric Reid
DRP
2218 Mt. Vernon Ave.
Alexandria, Va. 22301
703.549.2999
Ground Control Landscape Services

Missing DMG


#14 DonRocks

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Posted 21 November 2013 - 04:23 PM

Thank you all!

 

I’m pleased to announce that the 7 PM dinner, as of late this afternoon, is full. 

 

Thank you to *everyone* who has stepped in and helped out!

 

---

 

From this point forward, we’re going to be opening up a second seating at 9 PM. (We’re actually slightly overbooked for the 7 PM seating, so Eric is going to call some of his folks and bump them up to the later seating; everyone who reserved on this website - either in this thread or via PayPal - is confirmed at the 7 PM seating.)

 

So! Please keep the reservations coming, but now they’re going to be for the later seating. Thank you all!

 

And thank you also to our donors - you’ve been *amazingly* generous. But we have a long way to go: think about how much one month’s living expenses is for a family of five, run the numbers for this dinner, and it’s very unsettling. Still, this is an amazing act of human kindness.


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#15 DonRocks

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Posted 22 November 2013 - 01:33 AM

Thank you to Alex Baldinger of washingtonpost.com for printing this story.

 

---

 

ETA - and to washingtonpost.com for linking to it on their front page this morning at 9:30 AM.


Edited by DonRocks, 22 November 2013 - 09:30 AM.

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#16 DonRocks

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Posted 22 November 2013 - 07:30 PM

It’s wonderful that we sold out the 7 PM dinner.

 

Every dollar we get from this point forward, is just as important as the dollars we got earlier this week.

 

We have no “goal.” The only goal is to lessen this family’s anguish, to help these four children and their father - strangers, whom you’ll never meet - as much as we can.

 

Even if we had 100 times this amount of money coming in, it wouldn’t be enough.

 

I *hate* asking people for money - my parents, by example, taught me never to do it - but since not one dime is for me, I don’t care, and I’m asking for more help.

 

A thank you to those who donated to Elio Martinez six years ago. Quike Morales seven years ago. This isn’t going to be forgotten.


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#17 DonRocks

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Posted 25 November 2013 - 11:26 AM

It’s wonderful that we sold out the 7 PM dinner.

 

Every dollar we get from this point forward, is just as important as the dollars we got earlier this week.

 

We have no “goal.” The only goal is to lessen this family’s anguish, to help these four children and their father - strangers, whom you’ll never meet - as much as we can.

 

Even if we had 100 times this amount of money coming in, it wouldn’t be enough.

 

I *hate* asking people for money - my parents, by example, taught me never to do it - but since not one dime is for me, I don’t care, and I’m asking for more help.

 

A thank you to those who donated to Elio Martinez six years ago. Quike Morales seven years ago. This isn’t going to be forgotten.

 

I just want to remind everyone that there are still a *lot* of slots open for tomorrow night’s 9 PM dinner, and that you can either pay at the restaurant or through me at PayPal (email address donrockwell@dcdining.com) - I’m coordinating closely with Chef Reid.

 

Please keep the donations coming - I’ll be accepting donations up until 5 PM tomorrow (Tuesday), at which time I’ll let Eric know the amount so he can announce at the dinners. And also, I’ll be printing out a public audit of all monies received either that evening or the next day, with appropriate safeguards for anonymity.


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#18 DonRocks

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Posted 26 November 2013 - 03:48 PM

I just want to remind everyone that there are still a *lot* of slots open for tomorrow night’s 9 PM dinner, and that you can either pay at the restaurant or through me at PayPal (email address donrockwell@dcdining.com) - I’m coordinating closely with Chef Reid.

 

Please keep the donations coming - I’ll be accepting donations up until 5 PM tomorrow (Tuesday), at which time I’ll let Eric know the amount so he can announce at the dinners. And also, I’ll be printing out a public audit of all monies received either that evening or the next day, with appropriate safeguards for anonymity.

 

Just a final reminder that there are still slots for the 9 PM dinner, and I’m still accepting donations for the Gomez family on PayPal - donrockwell@dcdining.com is the address.

 

I will publish the list in the next 24 hours, again, as a public audit (I think it’s imperative).


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#19 DonRocks

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Posted 27 November 2013 - 12:23 PM

I will publish the list in the next 24 hours, again, as a public audit (I think it’s imperative).

 

As promised. Thank you all for your generosity, and there’s more good news to come from Eric Reid.

 

Edit: a recent dinner payment pushed us up over $1,000!

$1,009.76 USD

  •  

12/02

Dinner for 2 SP

$80

 

11/29

VAEater8 (Northern Virginia Magazine)

$10

 

11/26

Dinner for 2 LO

$77.38 USD

 

11/25

Dinner for 2 KO
$77.38 USD 
 
11/23
jondagle
$35.00 USD
 
11/22
Anonymous DS
$100.00 USD
 
11/21
beachgirl54
$15.00 USD 
 
11/21
Dinner for 4 EA
$160.00 USD 
 
11/21
Dinner for 2 JM
$80.00
 
11/21
Christopher C (5 Guys)
$50.00 USD
 
11/21
Anonymous AM
$50.00 USD
 
11/20
Erik Ox
$50.00 USD 
 

11/20

gswagner

$20.00 USD
 
11/20
Ellen H
$50.00 
 
11/19
Anonymous MAG
$20.00 USD
 
11/19
Anonymous NK
$100.00 USD
 
11/19
KathyAnn
$10.00 USD
 
11/19
Anonymous SH
$25.00 USD

Edited by DonRocks, 02 December 2013 - 11:58 AM.

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#20 cjreid

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Posted 27 November 2013 - 05:59 PM

Was an awesome time last night. Great food. Wish I had ordered the smoked tuna. Had a taste. Really good. Hope Eric puts it on the menu. Upstairs and downstairs was packed. I know Eric will be posting the results. Disclaimer here, I am his father and am very proud.
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#21 Eric Reid

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Posted 28 November 2013 - 11:15 AM

Thank you everyone. Grand total we were able to raise over $10,000 dollars! I type this with tears in my eyes from the generosity of this community. Thank you to all who donated. Thank you to all came in. Thank you restaurants that contributed. Thank you Del Ray Patch. Thank You Eater Dc. Thank you Washington Post. 

And most importantly, THANK YOU Don Rockwell. 

 

Happy Thanksgiving!


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Eric Reid
DRP
2218 Mt. Vernon Ave.
Alexandria, Va. 22301
703.549.2999
Ground Control Landscape Services

Missing DMG


#22 Eric Reid

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Posted 02 December 2013 - 02:08 AM

You all have been so generous. I can't thank you enough. The donation jars have still been on the bar since last Tuesday night. Since then, we've been able to raise an additional $1300. This is incredible! This family is large, this family is yours, this family is ours. Thank you everyone!


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Eric Reid
DRP
2218 Mt. Vernon Ave.
Alexandria, Va. 22301
703.549.2999
Ground Control Landscape Services

Missing DMG


#23 DonRocks

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Posted 08 December 2013 - 02:24 PM

You all have been so generous. I can't thank you enough. The donation jars have still been on the bar since last Tuesday night. Since then, we've been able to raise an additional $1300. This is incredible! This family is large, this family is yours, this family is ours. Thank you everyone!

 

Although it may be difficult for some to read, this article puts faces onto the tragedy. 

 

Thank you again to all who donated - now, you’ll see where your donations are going.


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