Organic restaurant in Mesa, Ariz. striving to re-raise money stolen from fundraising event for Mesa family of boys killed
Mesa, Ariz., January 27, 2009 – Pizza Fusion (www.pizzafusion.com), a new organic restaurant in Mesa, is turning to the community for support with re-raising the $8,000 it raised Saturday at its grand opening, which was stolen during a burglary later that night. The money was going to support the Smith family who tragically lost two young boys, CJ (6 years-old) and Nolan (11 years-old), in a drunk driving accident earlier this month.
“I can’t begin to explain the mixed emotions of anger, sympathy, and sadness I feel right now,” Jennifer Parks, managing partner of Mesa’s new Pizza Fusion and cousin to Tracy Smith, states. “Frank and Tracy’s spirits were lifted high by the outcry of support at our grand opening Saturday, only to have it taken away from them later that night. It’s heartbreaking. We’re asking the community to show their support, once again, in recouping this money as we aim to re-raise the $8,000 for supporting the Smiths’ medical expenses.”
The Smith parents are still recovering from medical injuries due to the accident. The father of the two boys, Frank Smith, must undergo eye surgery to attempt to save his vision, while the mother Tracy has a broken pelvic bone and other medical concerns yet to deal with.
After the money was raised Saturday night, Pizza Fusion was broken into sometime between 12:00 a.m. and 3:00 a.m. on Sunday. The burglars broke into the adjacent unoccupied building to Pizza Fusion, before breaking through the drywall to gain access to Parks’ office, where the money was being stored. Two suspects were caught on tape via security cameras. Police are investigating
“Our hearts go out to the Smith family and their tragic loss,” Vaughan Lazar, president and co-founder of Pizza Fusion, explains. “It’s difficult to comprehend how someone could be so heartless during a time of need, like this. All the Pizza Fusion restaurants are pulling together in a national effort to support our Mesa location in recovering the money lost for this worthy cause. Our goal is to see if we can double what was taken. This is the best way to show people good will can’t be stolen.”
Pizza Fusion has partnered with Wells Fargo, which has setup a fund for the Smith family. To make a contribution, simply visit www.pizzafusion.com to donate via credit or debit card. Furthermore, donations may be dropped off at any Wells Fargo via check made out to the Tracy and Frank Smith family fund. Donations are also being accepted at Pizza Fusion’s Mesa locations, at 5735 E McKellips Road; open from 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.
For more information, please visit www.pizzafusion.com or call the Mesa location at 480-832-5200.
NOTE: Surveillance video of the robbers is available upon request.
About Pizza Fusion
Founded in the best interest of the individual and the environment, Pizza Fusion combines a fresh, organic menu with an industry-leading environmental approach to restaurant service in chic dining destinations built to LEED certification standards. Pizza Fusion specializes in a full-service approach to gourmet pizza, ciabatta sandwiches, salads, desserts, and organic beers and wines, all in their purest form – untainted by artificial additives, such as pesticides, preservatives, antibiotics and hormones. With numerous franchises opening across the U.S., Pizza Fusion is pioneering the organic and environmental restaurant movement as the most eco-friendly restaurant in America. For additional information, visit: www.pizzafusion.com.