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Local business lending a helping hand

| Thursday, Sept. 29, 2005

On Sunday evening, the world was turned upside down for the William and Carla Cavalcante family, of Acme.

That evening, three of their five children were involved in a vehicle crash in Mt. Pleasant Township. Clarence "C.J.," 19, and Daniel, 16, were pronounced dead the night of the accident.

Paul, 15, remains in critical condition at a Pittsburgh hospital.

Daniel and Paul were students at Mt. Pleasant Area School District.

Clarence was a graduate of the school. He was attending classes at Westmoreland County Community College and working as a pizza maker/delivery driver at Chumps in Norvelt.

When the owners of the restaurant learned of the fatal crash, they were shocked. But concern for the family had the business owners reacting quickly.

Owner Michelle Kobistek gathered her family and employees together and discussed ways they could help the Cavalcante family.

Realizing the family may need help financially, the employees and Kobistek decided to hold a to hold a fundraiser.

The event will be held from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday.

"We all gathered last night and brainstormed as to what we could do," Kobistek said.

Any proceeds made from sales that day will be donated to the Cavalcante family, including all orders -- whether the meals are eaten in, taken out or delivered.

"The employees are volunteering their time, waiving all their wages," Kobistek said. "My food distributor, Avilio Foods, of Jeannette, is going to donate some things towards it."

"Our main concern is to help with the funeral costs and such," she said.

The entire menu will be offered Sunday, along with a pizza special.

"We're going to run a one-topping large pizza for $9," Kobistek said, hoping that will generate additional business.

The business normally opens at 3 p.m. Sundays, but is extending its hours for the fundraiser.

"We want to open at 11 a.m. that day so we can get as much as we can," Kobistek stated.

In addition to the fundraiser, a donation can will also be located at the establishment for cash donations.

"We're all thinking and praying for the youngest brother and the family as well," Kobistek said.

Clarence Cavalcante had been employed at Chumps since the start of summer.

"He filled in now and then driving, but when some of my drivers left to go back to college, he asked if he could fill the position."

He had been working four nights a week.

"I'm trying to get one of his senior pictures," Kobistek said. "I'd like to put it up in here and have a little memorial."

Kobistek said everyone has been shaken and touched. The restaurant closed Monday allowing employees time to deal with the tragedy.

"Last night we just all sat together and talked. It's been hard. Everyone really liked him."

Chumps is located approximately six miles outside of Mt. Pleasant on the Greensburg/Mt. Pleasant Road. For information, call 724-424-2787.

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