I guess it’s not surprising that in the state known for its great local diners that a community would pull together to save theirs. That’s what happened in Westfield, where patrons of Vicki’s Diner started a fundraising campaign to prevent it from going under.

Like scores of other businesses it was teetering on the brink of insolvency due to the pandemic. According to ABC 7 New York, a loyal patron, Patricia Steckler, started a GoFundMe campaign to save the community eatery. The goal was to raise $25,000, but according to TapInto.net, the effort has already raised close to $40,000. Helen Rentoulis, who owns the diner with her husband, Peter, told TapInto "We’re humbled, completely humbled and grateful,” adding, “I don’t even know the words to use. This is life changing for us. It really has helped a lot.”

The couple says that they had almost run out of money and were close to bankruptcy before Steckler came in and saved the day. Steckler told ABC 7 New York, "I asked Helen how things were and she said not good. They had depleted all their savings to keep every staff member employed. That weekend I figured out how to start a GoFundMe and it just took off."

The GoFundMe page says "Vicki's Diner is a joyful gathering place in downtown Westfield. Peter and Helen Rentoulis have owned Vicki's for more than 20 years. They welcome everyone with warmth, humor, and delicious food.”

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Bill Doyle. Any opinions expressed are Bill Doyle's own.

Cats Left at the Monmouth County SPCA