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Islanders raise funds for servers affected by pandemic

By Staff | Aug 12, 2020

Photo submitted by Doug Brust

In March, as the pandemic was hitting the nation and everything was beginning to close down, two Matlacha residents took it upon themselves to set a goal to help local restaurant servers and bar tenders financially.

Doug Brust and Lou Ford know that living the Matlacha lifestyle means going out to eat, drink and be merry. It didn’t take them long to realize people in the service industry would soon fall on hard times.

“The plan was to give everybody $200,” said Brust. “It’s not $1,000 but we wanted to give 100 people, at least $200, so we had to raise $20,000.”

Brust, who said he wasn’t on any type of social media, tackled Facebook in order to create a Go Fund Me page that would help those who found themselves struggling financially as a result of the restrictions to stay at home.

After having reached their goal, the two dropped checks in the mail to the locals. As far as whether they would do this again in the future, Brust said, “Sure,” adding that it was a great experience.

“It was the community who supported the workers — Lou and I just pushed the pens that wrote the checks,” Brust said.