Restaurant owner and Orange County commissioner to raise funds for Haiti – WKMG News 6 & ClickOrlando

Carolina Cardona, Reporter
Published: August 16, 2021 7:14 pm
Carolina Cardona, Reporter
ORLANDO, Fla. – Dr. Donel Richmond is an educator and owner of Kann Caribbean Kitchen Rum bar in Orlando, he is organizing a fundraiser along with Orange County Commissioner Victoria Siplin.
He said he remains hopeful the Central Florida community will once again come out strong in support of his people.
“I have some of my customers calling me saying what am I doing for Haiti, I say you know what, I want to do something let me reach out to some of the leaders, Haitian leaders,” Richmond said.
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On Saturday, a 7.2-magnitude earthquake struck the southwestern part of Haiti, the same day Richmond was supposed to celebrate his birthday.
“For it to happen on the day that I was born it was devastating. I canceled pretty much all events-even cake, I said you know what there’s no celebration for me,” Richmond said.
In 1994 Richmond left the island in search of success. After attending college and obtaining a Ph.D. in education, he became a nurse but is now focused on his restaurant business.
“The political instability in [the] early 90s was not a great place to live so I came to the U.S. for a better education, a better life,” he said.
The earthquake shook buildings and homes to the ground, burying thousands of people, among the victims, members of the church Dr. Richmond attends.
“They were in the same hotel that actually collapsed so fortunately they were able to come out alive,” he said.
For his brother-in-law, Ebens Jeremy who is helping with the fundraising event, it’s been 32 years since he left his homeland.
“Even though many of us may not be back, but every day Haiti is in our heart, Haiti is in our mind,” Jeremy said.
He explained there out of 10 states in Haiti were gravely impacted–states that were still recovering from the 2010 earthquake.
“In five seconds everything we had worked for in the past 10 years literally wiped out in a blink of an eye,” Jeremy said.
The fundraising event is taking place on Aug. 28 at Kann Caribbean Kitchen Rum Bar located at 6803 S. Kirkman Road in Orlando. Richmond said they are currently vetting non-profit organizations in Haiti to send the funds to.
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Carolina Cardona highlights all Central Florida has to offer in her stories on News 6 at Nine. She joined News 6 in June 2018 from the Telemundo station in Philadelphia.
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