George's Restaurant Donates $10,000 to Red Cross Relief for Hurricane Sandy Victims
Generous customers chip-in a further $504 on a day of giving
George Lucaj, the owner of four restaurants in metro Detroit, including George’s Restaurant (formerly The Honey Tree) in West Bloomfield, is presenting the Red Cross with a donation of $10,000. On December 12, Lucaj donated 20 per cent of the daily proceeds from his restaurants to the charity, after seeing the continuing devastation of families on the east coast affected by Hurricane Sandy.
In a single day, his four restaurants - George’s Restaurant (33080 Northwestern Highway, West Bloomfield Township, MI 48322), Grand Tavern (35450 Grand River Avenue, Farmington, MI 48335), which is co-owned by Anton Lucaj and Mario Lucaj, Village Palace (4170 Orchard Lake Road, Orchard Lake Village, MI 48323) which is co-owned by Robert Lucaj, and Grand Tavern Restaurant (3512 Marketplace Circle, Rochester, MI 48309, co-owned by Martin Bardi – raised $6,500 in proceeds. Lucaj, who is well-known in the metro Detroit community for giving back, decided to top this up with an additional donation of $3,500, make a total donation of $10,000. Red Cross personnel collected a further
$503.79 in canisters set up at each restaurant.
"The American Red Cross is grateful to George's Honey Tree and their patrons for their generosity last Wednesday. The donations collected will be used to help the areas affected by Hurricane Sandy with recovery and clean up. With a large scale disaster such as this, the recovery process is long and the Red Cross appreciates the support of businesses like George’s," Said La Forice Nealy, Regional Chief Executive Officer, American Red Cross, Southeastern Michigan Region.
Lucaj has a history of helping the metro Detroit community. Whether it’s helping cash-strapped schools with gift certificates, helping the Jewish community with fund raisers, or helping the local Albanian Church –a link to his native homeland – Lucaj is the first to come forward.
Seeing the devastation of people on the east coast one month after Hurricane Sandy struck a powerful chord with Lucaj as he knew the holiday season would be hard for some of those families affected. “I hope this donation will help make their celebrations a little brighter - and hopefully next year will be a better one of all of them,” he said.
On Monday December 3, 2012, the Red Cross released a progress report on the on-going relief effort for a hurricane victims, described as the ‘biggest U.S. disaster response in more than five years’. Hurricane Sandy was a major storm that impacted an area the size of Europe. Today, nearly 3,000 Red Cross workers are still on the job, providing food, water, shelter and relief supplies. The Red Cross has also deployed more than 300 of its emergency response vehicles and is also utilizing rental cars, trucks and other vehicles to help. During the relief effort, the Red Cross has provided almost 79,000 shelter stays, part of an overall shelter response that provided more than 153,000 shelter stays, plus more than 7.4 million meals and snacks. It also distributed more than 5.2 million relief items including cold weather items like coats and blankets and supplies to help people as they begin the massive clean-up of their neighborhoods and provided more than 86,000 health services and mental health contacts for people who have been living in very tough conditions.