Small business owner Eric Baker organized a benefit dinner for Francisco Calzadillas, the Salt River police officer whose wife was injured in the Las Vegas massacre.
Baker, who owns a taco truck and coffee shop hasn't met Calzadillas, but learned they have mutual friends.
Baker said the idea started with wanting to help a family in need over the holidays. He sold tickets to about 75 friends and business partners to raise money. With the purchase of a ticket, guests get tacos from his truck and drinks from Helio Brewery. Miller's Meat Market donated meat.
He's still tallying up the total amount, but hopes to raise thousands of dollars.
"All the funds are going directly to the family and they can use it as needed," he said.
Kreg Bahm opened up his Mesa home to host the event, which included a silent auction. He hopes it helps relieve a little bit of stress.
Orlando Calzadillas, Francisco's younger brother, showed up to the event on his brother's behalf.
"He’s at the hospital with his wife," said Calzadillas. "He really wanted to come and he told me I can’t leave her."
"This is amazing," said Calzadillas. "People here having this today, we don’t even know who they are."
"They’re friends of friends and they’re not immediate family or work with us. We’re all grateful for the support," he added.
Calzadillas said the extra money has helped.
"It gets a little pressure off my brother’s shoulders. He has so much going on having to balance kids what to tell his daughter when she asks questions," he explained.
If you would like to help the family, they have set up a GoFundMe page.
There is also a silent auction Saturday. For more information, click here.
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