As you may or may not know residents and business owners in East Harlem neighborhood are still struggling to recovering from the gas explosion that left eight people dead and flattened two 5-story apartment buildings more then two weeks ago.
At least 100 people were left homeless after the morning blast on Wed., March 12. And most are still receiving temporary shelter at neighboring churches and the Salvation Army, where volunteers are providing them with food, as well as supplies like blankets and pillows. Business owners are pleading for assistance because they need to reopen in order to pay bills and feed their families.
Harlem chef Marcus Samuelsson, co-owner of Red Rooster Harlem, has stepped in with others to take action as he joined forces with the Red Cross, community leaders, business owners and other chefs to plan a benefit for East Harlem’s victims.
He developed Harlem Helps, a benefit that will take place Wed., April 2, at 8 p.m. EDT, with a VIP cocktail hour at 7 p.m., at Ginny’s Supper Club, underneath his restaurant. Donations will help people affected by the explosion at Park Avenue and East 116th Street, with all proceeds going to the American Red Cross Greater New York: East Harlem Collapse Relief fund. Tickets are $175 for general admission and $350 for VIP Hour at Ticket Fly.
Samuelesson’s industry friends has jumped at the chance to support the Harlem cause, including Aaron Sanchez, one of the nation’s top Latin chefs; and Jonathan Waxman, chef and owner of Barbuto in the West Village, who will serve food from his restaurant, alongside signature items from Red Rooster.
Amanda Freitag, a NY chef and guest on the Food Network, will lead the live auction, which will take place with four NYC-focused packages, each to include sought-after hotel stays, dining experiences and shopping excursions. And mixologist Karl Franz, from Harlem’s Orange Street, will serve cocktails, and local Harlem ice cream parlor Luca & Bosco will serve scoops (via the Root).