— Just two days after a fire destroyed Geppetto’s Italian Bistro, a group of community members is organizing a fundraiser to help restaurant staff members who are now unemployed.

“They’ve been great to all of us for a number of years,” said Ryan Messer, who is part of the organizing group. “This was our chance to do something for them.”

The event will be held from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday at the new Rotary Pavilion at Franklin Park. The group will be selling food and beverages and taking donations to help the employees.

The goal is to have everything needed for the fundraiser donated so that all proceeds go directly to the Geppetto’s employees, Messer said. I Heart Yakima, a nonprofit looking to promote community pride, will be processing the donations.

Organizers emphasized on the fundraiser’s Facebook page that none of the proceeds will go toward rebuilding the restaurant.

Messer said he’s amazed how quickly everything came together.

“I’m thrilled that Yakima has stepped up,” he said.

For more information about the fundraiser or to make a donation, call Messer at 509-961-2165.