WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) – Everyone loves a good pancake breakfast, especially when it supports a critically injured local veteran.
That’s exactly what happened Saturday morning at Oak Island VFW Post 10226.
A breakfast that normally happens every weekend at the VFW post, was converted into a fundraiser to support Nicholas Raspino. 5-year Navy veteran and Wilmington native Raspino was involved in a shooting back in May.
“I was helping a friend from her ex boyfriend. And it just so happened, he pulled up and seen me in her car.” said Raspino.
The ensuing altercation led to Raspino and his friend being shot, landing him in a wheelchair and on a long road to recovery. His friend died from the gunshots. After spending some time in the hospital, those from the community began to find out of Raspino’s injury.
“I heard what happened to Nick. And our first thought was, we’ve got to do something to help this guy.” said Allison Price, member of VFW Post 10226.
She says when they heard of the instance they immediately began planning something for Nicholas. They were able to get sponsorships and volunteers to help. They even partnered with the American Legion Auxiliary to help drum up support. Eleny Santanna with the legion says they heard about Nicholas when eating at a restaurant he used to work in.
“We heard about Nick’s story when we went in to the restaurant on the island where he used to work. And the accident had just happened. But we wanted to do something. So we kept in touch with his sister and the people at the restaurant” said Santanna.
The breakfast was much more of a success than even the organizers expected. Price says they had to make three trips to the store to stay stocked during the breakfast.
“We’ve gone through about 30 pounds of pancake batter. About 60 dozen eggs probably 30 packs of sausage, eight gallons of orange juice and milk.” said Price.
In attendance at the pancake breakfast, Raspino was incredibly grateful of the support they received. During early parts of the morning there was a line of hungry supporters out the front door.
“It’s overwhelming. It really is to have everybody here. Friends of Friends, family, and they’re friends coming out.” said Raspino.
Looking forward to his recovery, Raspino says the amount raised will help him with a goal of his, to walk on his own without a wheelchair.
“We’re gonna hope we’re hoping and praying for a leg workout soon, you know, we’ll see, hopefully get to another provider for rehab. And, you know, we haven’t given up on my legs just yet.” said Raspino.
As for the VFW, they host pancake breakfasts most weekends and say they look forward to doing more like this one for Nicholas.
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