Cape diner raises money for El Faro family

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CAPE CORAL, Fla. – A restaurant is raising money for a family who lost a loved one on the El Faro cargo ship earlier this month.

Mel’s Diner hosted a bake sale Saturday to raise money for Katie Griffin. Griffin’s husband Keith was on the cargo ship when it disappeared near the Bahamas during Hurricane Joaquin. Griffin’s mother, Joanne, works at Mel’s Diner, so employees rallied together to raise money for Joanne’s daughter, who is expecting twins.

“When somebody hurts, we all hurt. And when this happened, we decided that again we needed to do something for Joanne, because Joanne goes above and beyond for any bake sale, any function, any event that we do. Joanne’s always the first one there to lend a helping hand, and now it’s our turn to help her, and her daughter,” said manager Lisa Debiase. “I couldn’t imagine being young and pregnant with twins. She’s only been married a couple years…She’s devastated and rightfully so. She’s absolutely devastated by the whole thing and we’re hoping that a little bit of money is going to help. It’s not going to bring him back, but maybe it’ll help ease some of the financial burdens that she’s going to come across.”

The group hopes to raise $2,500 to help Katie pay for baby necessities. The diner will host the bake sale again Sunday if you would like to donate.

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