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Athletes break the good news to "Famous Fund" restaurant recipients

WWE's Roman Reigns tells Michael’s Steak and Lobster co-owner, Sophia Gerapetritis, that she will be given a $15k donation
Posted at 8:23 AM, Jan 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-19 10:37:37-05

BALTIMORE — Jimmy's Famous Seafood has started a GoFundMe to help restaurants struggling with the impact of COVID-19 restrictions.

In four days Jimmy's President, John Minadakis, raised over $200,000 and has now increased the goal to $350,000.

“I’m truly blessed by the kindness of so many people to assist us with this fund,” said Minadakis. “Every dollar that we raise will be injected into a small restaurant in Baltimore City in order to increase their chances of survival as the restrictions continue.”

Baltimore restaurants wishing to apply for money from the fund can do that here. Minadakis has created a board to review applicants and distribute funding to selected recipients.

Minadakis says he was inspired by Barstool Sports recent fundraising effort to save struggling businesses.

In particular he says Baltimore City restaurants are dying an inevitable death due to the mayor's restrictions, highlighting lost income over the holidays and the Ravens playoff run.

Minadakis said he worries about thousands of workers who have lost their jobs as result, and questions if many of the city's restaurants will survive and ever fully reopen.

He added that many diners are choosing to go outside of the city to eat.

Athletes such as former Ravens players O.J. Brigance and Jacoby Jones, former Oriole Adam Jones, WWE superstars Roman Reigns and Big E, and Benj Gershman of the band OAR have all made calls breaking the good news to those restaurants selected thus far.

Watch their reactions below.

The fundraiser shattered the $60,000 mark set by Marcus Lemonis, host of CNBC's The Profit, who tweeted that he would add $20,000 if that number was met by a certain deadline. Lemonis also placed a $20,000 order with Colin’s Seafood and Grill that will go towards feeding needy families.