Grassroots Fundraiser to Help Restaurants Feed Hospital Workers on the Front Lines of the COVID-19 Pandemic, Keep Restaurant Workers Employed
William Raveis Real Estate and Sails Restaurant, both located on Fifth Avenue South in Naples, are teaming up to deliver much-needed meals to Naples Community Hospital’s healthcare workers on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic. Veljko Pavicevic, founder and CEO of Sails Restaurant, found an immediate partner in William Raveis, the CEO and founder of William Raveis Real Estate (WRRE), the top family-owned real estate company that has a long history of supporting the community. Together, they will deliver 150 meals a day to hospital workers. Their goal is to feed a different floor each day, so they can reach the hospital’s nearly 3,500 employees.
Many medical teams are working around the clock to care for the patients in the community without an opportunity to stop to get a hot meal. This effort provides much-needed sustenance when they need it the most.
“William Raveis Real Estate and Sails have an opportunity to honor and serve the heroic people on the frontlines who work hard taking care of all of us,” said Pavicevic. “I figure if we keep the restaurant open, we lose money, and if we close, we lose money. So I’d prefer to keep my staff employed and do something good for them as well. We will do what we love: we can cook and we can provide a high quality hot meal to those in need.”
Pavicevic came up with this idea on his morning run as he noticed all the blue WRRE bags that wrap the Naples Daily News Sunday newspapers. The bags sparked an idea to partner with WRRE, a well-established and philanthropic company in the community, to create an initiative to give back. He then reached out to his friend and weekly customer, William “Bill” Raveis, who immediately agreed to support the plan to create and deliver great food for hospital workers. Pavicevic narrowed down the restaurant’s menu, well known for its use of pristine ingredients, and found items that travel well and can be reheated in a microwave at the hospital.
“When Veljko came to me with this idea, I jumped on it. We want to thank the hospital workers who tirelessly care for our community’s patients, while also helping keep so many people employed,” said Bill Raveis. “As the CEO of a family-owned business, I know first-hand how important it is to support our employees and give back to our community, especially during these uncertain times. We must come together to support one another.”
At the same time, the COVID-19 pandemic has shuttered the majority of the local restaurants in Naples, so this effort also provides an opportunity for Sails to continue paying their employees to cook and prepare quality meals for hospital workers. Pavicevic hopes that this effort will also pave the way for his plans to provide unemployed restaurant workers hot meals from his bustling kitchen on 5th Avenue South.
“It doesn’t matter who you are, how old you are, or where you work. This virus affects everyone,” said Molly Lane, a Senior Vice President and General Manager of Florida, who will be helping deliver meals to the hospital with her husband, Matt Lane, and Pavicevic’s team.
WRRE and Sails Restaurant encourage the Naples area to support both the local restaurant industry, currently struggling to survive, as well as, provide support to healthcare workers. The goal is to raise awareness and more money to increase the number of meals Sails can provide during this pandemic. To learn more about this initiative or donate, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.