If you give to Barbara’s Friends on Aug. 4, you shall receive.
Walk into any Mel’s Diner from Naples to Cape Coral, from 6:30 to 11 a.m., and a donation of more than $5 to the Golisano Children’s Hospital Cancer Fund will yield a plate of two eggs, two pancakes and two pieces of bacon, plus a coffee or glass of orange juice.
As a back-to-school fundraiser, it’s hard not to appreciate the unique way to introduce the concept of philanthropy to young children—and because it’s open to the general public, anyone can benefit from the delicious and do-good mission. Owned and run by Romeo “Romey” Terezi, the diners are among the only true New York-style coffee shops in Southwest Florida. Terezi has been a prominent figure locally, donating time and support to the Saint Katherine Greek Orthodox Church, including its annual festival and past “Taste of Greece” drive-thrus. This cause he has chosen to support is an initiative under the Lee Health Foundation umbrella that came about decades ago and led to the creation and maintenance of Barbara’s Friends Pediatric Hematology and Oncology Outpatient Center, which has served 8,000 residents of Southwest Florida. It was started in honor of a young woman, Barbara Haskell; at the time she was struck by the illness, there existed no treatment options anywhere between Tampa and Miami.
Giving back and breakfast on the house? It’s a win-win for all involved.