Organizers of the Frank Palombo Fund raised over $4,000 at a special four-hour fundraiser at Embers Restaurant last Saturday night in an effort to assist the family of a Brooklyn firefighter who is missing in the wake of the terrorist attacks on New York City on Sept. 11.
All proceeds from the event went to the Frank Palombo Fund, set up by Storm Lake residents Jackie Noble, Sarah Mummert and Connie Barnett in an effort to make their assistance to the relief effort feel more personal.
The combination of donations from patrons and money raised by an auction held during the night was just over $4,100, and both Noble and Mummert said they were very pleased by the generosity shown.
"It went way beyond our expectations," Noble said. "We had a great turnout and we received tremendous support, especially from the businesses in town. We had only planned on having the auction last a little over an hour or so and it ended up lasting about two hours. To
raise that amount of money in that short amount of time was fantastic."
"I thought the community really came together for this," Mummert said. "The turnout was really great for this event."
The fund was started a week after the Sept. 11 incidents, as Noble, Mummert and Barnett decided they wanted to assist in the relief effort in a more personal way than just sending a check to the Red Cross.
After Mummert called numerous numbers listed on television, she came into contact with a relief board in New York, which helped her learn of the plight of Palombo's family.
Palombo and his wife have 10 children, and Noble said the large size of his family was one of the main reasons the trio decided to set up the Commercial Bank fund in his name.
While the Storm Lake citizens have talked to the chief of Palombo's fire station in Brooklyn about the fund, they have not yet been in contact with his wife, but Noble said she doesn't think it is the proper time to do that right now.
"We haven't contacted her yet, and to be honest, I don't think we want to quite yet," Noble said. "Her husband is still considered missing, and I think the best thing to do would be just to send the check and let her know that we are thinking of her. We just hope this will help her out with the bills that she has to pay."
The trio will send the check to the family Friday morning, and a signed t-shirt, a fireman's throw and pillow and a picture of some of the people who donated to the fund will also be included in the care package.