Mooresville restaurant owner helps raise $50,000 for Ukraine refugees

Help coming to the people of Ukraine from half a world away. Two local restaurants are opening their hearts and their wallets.
Help coming to the people of Ukraine from half a world away. Two local restaurants are opening...
Help coming to the people of Ukraine from half a world away. Two local restaurants are opening their hearts and their wallets.(WBTV)
Published: Mar. 8, 2022 at 5:56 PM EST
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MOORESVILLE, N.C. (WBTV) - Barcelona and Alino’s restaurants in Mooresville are not only donating all of the proceeds for two days but the owner is looking to match it.

The owner Michael Bay says he’s hoping for about $50,000 that will go directly to helping people fleeing the fighting in Ukraine. Once word got out about what they were doing, the community showed up.

It was a busy Tuesday at Barcelona Restaurant with lines out the door and tickets being filled almost as fast as they could be printed.

While the lunchtime crowd came for a burger, what they left will mean so much to people they’ve never even met.

“Just do something, otherwise we’ll have no Ukraine tomorrow,” Bay said.

Bay has been overseas many times. His travels have taken him through the country of Ukraine before. Like most of us, he wanted to do something to help. So, he did.

“If you can do something and don’t do it, then shame on you.” Bay said.

The owner decided to donate the profits from his two restaurants, Barcelona and Alino’s Pizza in Mooresville, to a charity that will feed refugees fleeing their homeland of Ukraine. By his eyes and his faltering voice, this is something that means everything to him.

“They really, really deserve to be helped,” Bay said softly.

Kaleigh Vasile wanted to make sure she was there to help.

“I think any way we can give back even if it’s a small thing like donating lunch I think it’s amazing what they’re doing here at the bell,” Vasile said.

Maria Marsh is also happy to help.

“It’s heartbreaking to see that they’re protecting their own homes. They’re protecting their own families. And it’s a way that we can help them here,” Marsh said.

Lila Bostian says she knows they’re desperate, and she’s glad to help.

“We’re just glad we can contribute that way. We know they’re desperate for help,” Bostian said.

Stanly Szostek says given the generosity around him it gives him hope.

“When you see what they’re going here, there’s a lot of hope that this will turn out to be something that we as Americans can be proud of,” Szostek said.

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