By Steve Sherack
A fundraising event to help benefit the families affected by last weekend's devastating Western Kentucky tornado will take place at Frank & Dino's restaurant in Lexington on Sunday, Jan. 2. Complimentary food and drinks will be served between 12 p.m. and 8 p.m. at the popular Italian eatery.
WLKY reported Thursday that 16 people, down from a high of 122, are still missing and that the death toll has risen to 76 Kentuckians. More than 1,000 homes and buildings have been destroyed and there are approximately still 3,000 power outages. Surveyors with the National Weather Service have reported that the twister had wind speeds up to 190 miles per hour.
“Every time there's an issue or something happens, we try to do something for the community,” said owner/breeder/trainer and Frank & Dino's managing partner Carlo Vaccarezza.
“I'm closing the restaurant from noon to 8 p.m. and there will be free food and free alcohol. When people come, hopefully they donate. We have people that are very committed that are going to come over and really support the cause. [Kentucky Congressman] Andy Barr–I've spoken to him a couple of times–and the governor's office are really behind this cause. All the money that we collect, we'll write a check and it will help families that were devastated by this horrible situation.”
Vaccarezza, whose two sons Mike and Nick survived a mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida in 2018, raised approximately $180,000 for the families of the victims during a fundraiser also held at his family restaurant.
Donations can also be sent to Frank & Dino's, 271 W. Short Street, Lexington, Ky., 40507.