Menomonee Falls restaurant raises at least $6,000 for injured Milwaukee County deputy
MENOMONEE FALLS, Wis. (CBS 58) -- Wednesday night, hundreds of people packed into a Menomonee Falls restaurant to raise money for injured Milwaukee County Sheriff's Deputy Christian Almonte.
30% of the proceeds at Su Casa Grande will go to Deputy Almonte's recovery efforts. Initial sales totals indicate at least $6,000 will be donated.
Deputy Almonte arrived later than expected because he was simply in too much pain. His arms and hands are still protected as he recovers. But when he did arrive, hundreds of people burst into cheers, ready to support his road to recovery.
Deputy Almonte has been going to Su Casa Grande since he was a child, so many times it's become a part of his family. He said there are "Lots of childhood memories. Seeing Jorge and his son and everyone grow up in this family."
When he walked in Wednesday, that family was a lot bigger.
He says he's feeling better every day, but the timeline for his recovery is uncertain. "I honestly don't know the timetable. All I can say is that the recovery is going to be in my hands and my arms."
That will take time and money, so the Almontes' extended family stepped in. Pat Dwyer has known them for 25 years, and said, "Great family, great community, they fit right in. He’s loved. He knows he’s loved."
Immediately Dwyer was thinking of ways to help, and called his friend and Su Casa Grande owner Jorge Suarez with an idea for the fundraiser.
Suarez said, "I saw the news but I never saw the name. [Dwyer] goes 'what about if we do something for him?' I said sure. Let’s do it."
Suarez says it was an easy decision to give back. "That's why we want to help everybody. We know this family very well. But we can do it for anybody."
And while Deputy Almonte is unsure when he'll be back to 100%, he knows his community has his back. "Having the support from the community means so much to me. It shows people really do care."
In addition to donating part of Wednesday night's sales, there were also several buckets throughout the restaurant to collect cash. And the restaurant also sold gift cards that can be used at a later date. Those sales will also contribute to the donation.