PLEASANT VALLEY – More than 500 people gathered at a park in Pleasant Valley on Sunday to raise money for the people who lost their jobs or apartments when a truck destroyed Junior’s Lounge in Hyde Park in June.
Lou Rossi, the proprietor of Junior’s, was in the building and survived when the truck crashed into it. The tenants upstairs survived but lost everything they had when the building was leveled. There were two apartments above the bar.
Several local bands that have performed at Junior’s over the years provided live entertainment at the fundraiser organized to help the displaced employees and tenants. “This is not about me,” Rossi said. “My employees have lost their source of income and the tenants have suffered tragic losses,” he said. “Today, the community turned out in force to help their friends who have been hurt and I am humbled.”
“I am overwhelmed and amazed how much love the community has shown us,” said bartender Jackie Bracco. “I’ve always loved all of our customers at Junior’s and now I realize how much they love us.” Bracco is one of the 10 bartenders and four tenants who will share the proceeds of the event.
In addition to a number of musical performances, including a song written and performed by John DelVecchio, known as Johnny Dell, patrons were able to purchase adult beverages that had been donated by several other local establishments, participate in a number of raffles, and make general donations to the cause.
Jukebox Junkies, a local band with a tremendous following, had the crowd dancing away on Sunday.