Left: Photo via GoFundMe. Right: Photo by Laura Ann Miller.
Rain Stippec, left, was shot in Soulard on Monday. Pickleman's Gourmet Cafe, right, is stepping in to help with her recovery fund.
St. Louis dancer Rain Stippec was seriously injured shortly after midnight on Monday after a gunman open fire on her and a 30-year-old fire department captain
while they were sitting in the firefighter's car in Soulard. Now, Pickleman's Gourmet Cafe is stepping in to help in her recovery.
On February 16 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., 50 percent of all in-store sales will go toward Stippec's recovery fund. Stippec's older sister, Ann, is the long-time general manager of the Pickleman's in Creve Coeur. However, all of Pickleman's St. Louis-area locations, including Midtown, Clayton, Kirkwood, O'Fallon and St. Charles, are also participating in the profit share.
Brad Merten, co-owner of Narwhal's as well as Pickleman's Midtown and Creve Coeur locations, knows both sisters and the family after working with Ann Stippec for several years. The incident hit home on a personal level for him and those at Pickleman's.
“We just want to raise awareness to what happened obviously to an innocent person, and make sure that we can help her out as much as we can because she’s going to need a lot of help as far as probably medical expenses," Merten says. He and Andy Lay, director of operations for the Creve Coeur and Midtown locations, came up with the idea to hold the profit share.
Helping out was a no-brainer, Mertens says.
"We’ve been visiting her at the hospital; Pickleman’s has been taking food up there as much as we can," Mertens says. "Beyond that, we were trying to think what can we do. For us, with having two businesses, it’s easy for us to help raise some money and do some good out of it.”
As the RFT reported on February 8
, the Stippecs also have a GoFundMe page
with a $100,000 goal to help with medical bills. As of 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, the crowd-sharing effort had raised $35,370.