Fundraiser turnout overwhelms victims of Uptown condo fire - FOX 35 News Orlando

Fundraiser turnout overwhelms victims of Uptown condo fire

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MINNEAPOLIS (KMSP) -

The Uptown community came together on Wednesday night to help those who lost their homes in a destructive condo fire, and the turnout had many of the victims feeling overwhelmed.

When Amore Victoria opened the doors to their restaurant, the place quickly got packed. In fact, the FOX 9 News cameras had to wait to take cameras downstairs to the silent auction because it was full to capacity.

Employees say it was no typical Wednesday night at the Uptown eatery, but the bustling pace was all to benefit a good cause.

Josh Socks told FOX 9 News the last two weeks he's spent living in a hotel have been difficult, but seeing a packed room full of strangers willing to spend money to help him and nearly 20 other residents displaced by the fire was overwhelming.

"Support from family and friends and community has been very heartwarming, inspiring and helps me get through the days," he said. "It's overwhelming. I can't even articulate it properly."

The restaurant is located just across the street from where the condos burned to the ground, and the owners set up the fundraiser to help many of the regulars who lived there.

"We saw [them] weekly, so it touches us in a personal way," said Wenn Townsend.

Even those who had never met the victims in person were drawn in to help. For Ila Johnson, she made her first trip to Amore Victoria specifically for the fundraiser.

"When it happened, we were so moved by it," Johnson explained. "We can come here and help out."

When the doors to the silent auction opened, the tables quickly filled. All the money made off of food, drinks and the auction will be given to the victims. Organizers hoped to raise $5,000 by the time the fundraiser ends at midnight.

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