CSU, Chico News

Group Organizes to Aid Employees of Businesses Closed Due to Fire

Date: 12-07-2009

Joe Wills
Public Affairs

Students and staff at California State University, Chico are rallying community members to raise money for the approximately 85 employees of Tres Hombres and Mr. Pickles restaurants who are without jobs following the Dec. 1 fire that closed both businesses.

Using the name “We Are Chico,” the group seeks donations of cash or food to help the out-of-work employees and show the giving spirit of the Chico area community.

“Responding to a crisis and helping people in need is what we are all about in Chico,” said Larry Bassow, CSU, Chico staff member. “At Chico State, we have raised money for causes all over the country and world—now we need to focus on our family of students, alums and friends who work across the street from campus. We need to help the employees of Tres Hombres and Mr. Pickles make the next few months a little easier with donations from local establishments and the Chico community.”

Bassow is a Greek adviser in CSU, Chico Student Affairs and also is adviser to the Up ’til Dawn event on campus that raises money for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

Bassow said Chico businesses Bidwell Perk, Coffee on Shasta, Madison Bear Garden and Woodstock’s Pizza and the Downtown Chico Business Association are already on board to make donations on behalf of the employees, and he said the group hopes to challenge other businesses to follow suit.

“Our hope is to give each employee an envelope from their Chico family with gift certificates, as well as buy gift cards to a local grocery store with the donations made from the campus and community,” said Bassow. He said the group is also looking for other businesses that may have part-time work available for the employees.

Student Ryan Giordano, Associated Students commissioner of community affairs, will be leading a change drive on campus beginning Monday, Dec. 7, and they will be collecting money and goods through Friday, Dec. 18.

AS Programs and Government Affairs Coordinator Denise Crosswhite and CSU, Chico Greek Adviser Connie Huyck, along with Bassow, will be co-leading the fund-raising project.

“All of us are parents and leaders of many students,” said Bassow. “We tell them to do good, to do the right thing—this is a chance for us to role model to our kids, our campus and our community.”

Those interested in donating or getting involved can contact the group at wearechico@gmail.com or Bassow at 521-0039.

Addition: Donation checks can be made to: DCBA-Firefund; c/o DCBA, 330 Salem St., Chico, CA 95928