A tasty way to help the Wunder Wiener and owner Gerald LaCrosse
BEACHWOOD — About 4,000 hot dogs later, two police organizations trying to raise funds for the owner of the Wunder Wiener are confident the may have matched the icon hot dog stand's quality.
Members of Berkeley Township PBA Local 237 and Beachwood-Pine Beach PBA Local 253 set up their grills in the same spot along Route 9 that Gerald "Jerry" LaCrosse has sold hot dogs for the past 34 years. The 75-year-old was inside the small building in June when a SUV ran off the road and destroyed it.
"We definitely can't make the double Italian that's for sure. We're just putting the hot dogs on a bun with sauerkraut, chili cheese and some other condiments, however the donors want to get it," Phil Schena, executive president of the Beachwood-Pine Beach PBA said.
Over two days, they've raised around $8,000 for LaCrosse who is out of the hospital and recovering at home.
"It's been very successful so far and we're looking for a third day of successful sales for the LaCrosse family," said Chris Schick of the Berkeley PBA.
The stand is located on the southbound side of Route 9 in the parking lot of the former Beachwood Shopping Center. The fundraiser ends Saturday at 3 p.m.
Friday's rain did not have affect sales, according to Schena. "People were coming out and there was a line of 20 people most of the day," he said.
Members of the LaCrosse have also come out to show their appreciation for the fundraiser.
"Not just the family but town folk that know him and live next to him and have been patronizing him for the years he's been open." Schick said.
LaCrosse, a Beachwood councilman who vows to build a new Wunder Wiener, said it was "the loudest noise" he had ever heard when Mark Poplawski drove into his stand the morning of June 11. He also serves on the Fireworks Committee.
Poplawski was charged with careless driving, driving in an unsafe manner, failure to exhibit documents and failure to maintain lane. According to a police report, Poplawski hit a utility pole and dragged it just over 40 feet before hitting the Wunder Wiener stand. The impact pushed the structure 22 feet and turned it at a 45-degree angle.
A GoFundMe page is also accepting donations for LaCrosse.