Chicago Pizza will be holding various fund-raisers to help a family that recently lost its father and husband, by selling raffle tickets and donating gross profits to the family.
Joshua James Ryan, 34, passed away on Oct. 12 from a heart attack. He is survived by his wife, Viri, and his five children, David, Marissa, Senny, Noah and Jonah.
He worked at Chicago Pizza full-time for the past five years and was recently accepted into the nursing program at Edison State College.
Ryan was known as "Gooch" at the restaurant.
"The man was an energizer bunny," said Pam Randall with Chicago Pizza. "At work he was the first person to say hello and the last to say goodbye. Our kitchen is so quiet without him. He had a real presence."
She said he was a devoted husband and father who never hesitated to tell anyone who would listen how proud he was of his family and that he did everything for the betterment of his family.
"Joshua also reached out to anyone else who was in need ... always had an encouraging word or joke to make you laugh," Randall said.
In three days, she said they have raised close to $1,000 from their customers at the restaurant for the family.
"We want to make sure that his wife and children don't have to worry about paying the bills right now," Randall said about the staff at Chicago Pizza.
The restaurant is selling $5 per chance tickets for an opportunity to win the first place prize of a medium Chicago Bears Brian Urlacher jersey and a $50 gift card for Chicago Pizza for the second place winner.
Individuals interested in purchasing a raffle ticket must stop by the restaurant at 1341 S.E. 47th Terrace, Cape Coral.
The raffle winners will be announced Nov. 1 with a family member pulling the winning tickets.
Randall said the restaurant has had an outpouring of other donations to the raffle, so people can go to Chicago Pizza's Facebook page at www.facebook.com/pages/Chicago-Pizza/108763817061 to stay updated.
"The Chicago Bears Organization has also donated an autographed mini-helmet to be raffled/auctioned," she said.
Randall said in honor of the business' first anniversary at the new location, on Nov. 3, 20 percent of the gross profits of that day will go toward the family.
"All people have to do is come in and eat, pick up or call for delivery to do something for the family," she said.
An account has also been set up for the family under his wife's name. Viri Ryan. at Wells Fargo. The account number is 9958118300 for those who wish to make a donation.