Dine-in restaurant service again has ceased, as Gov. Andy Beshear ordered recently, due to a spike in COVID-19 cases. In response, Curtis and Susan Brown have initiated a fundraising drive to help restaurant employees with gifts of cash in the form of gift cards. Deb Domke of the Lake Barkley Chamber of Commerce and Lyon County Judge-executive Wade White endorse the drive with their support.

“COVID-19 has affected many in the community, but the county’s restaurant workers and owners have been hit especially hard,” Domke wrote to chamber members. “The community can continue supporting local eateries by ordering take-out, when possible, but many have wanted to do something more. To help, this new initiative plans to give affected individuals money in the form of gift cards.”

On behalf of the chamber, Domke will collaborate with the Browns to assist affected restaurant employees. They will distribute donated gift cards to workers at Our Daily Bread, China Buffet, Los Agave’s, Willow Pond, The Oasis, and the Joint BBQ Wings and More.

“The goal is to raise enough money and gift card donations to give each affected employee at least $150 of value in gift cards, but organizers will prioritize those with families first,” Domke wrote. “Organizers will take donations through Dec. 11 and plan to distribute all gift cards by the week of Dec. 14.”

The easiest way to give money, organizers said, is to purchase a Visa gift card to donate to the fundraiser. Those and other gift cards may be purchased at Dollar General and local convenience marts. Donors also may purchase individual, business-specific gift cards from local merchants. The amount of money should be noted on the specified card, if it isn’t already. Anyone planning to purchase more than $100 in gift cards is asked to purchase in $100 increments. That way, organizers can distribute equitably to all affected employees.

Gift Card drop-off locations during business hours only in Eddyville include: Lyon County Judge-executive Wade White’s office in the courthouse, Akridge Farm Supply, Town’s Mercantile, and the Fredonia Valley Bank Eddyville branch. Kuttawa City Hall accepts donations via its drop box.

For those citizens who wish to donate, but are unable to drop off gift cards at any of these locations or simply want to donate directly, they can phone Susan Brown at 270-625-1762, Curtis Brown at 270-625-4494, or Deb Domke at the Lake Barkley Chamber of Commerce at 270-388-4769. Please call Domke ahead of time to arrange a drop-off at the chamber location in Eddyville.

Domke reminds potential participants that Nov. 28 is Small Business Saturday, a convenient time to purchase additional $20 gift cards at local businesses, separate from the fundraiser. Those cards can be designated for many local businesses and restaurants to use at a later date.