Community raises money to help Westfield diner stay afloat amid the pandemic

A community has come together to save a Westfield diner struggling to stay afloat during the pandemic.
Helen Rentoulis, owner of Vicki's Diner in Westfield, says the pandemic has been devastating for business. Still, she says she made sure every one of their employees received their paychecks.
One of the diner's best customers, Patti Steckler, who has been eating at the local institution since it opened more than 20 years ago, heard that the owners were struggling and started a GoFundMe page to help.
"They create an environment at the diner that is so welcoming warm. No one feels excluded," Steckler says.
More than 400 people have donated almost $40,000 to help the diner through the next few months.
During normal operating hours, the owners say they can serve people in the restaurant at 25% capacity. However, they say that it's just not enough to make ends meet.
"If we don't get up to 50%, I don't know what we will do, because eventually it is going to get too cold to sit outside, even with heat lamps," Rentoulis says.
She says she is so thankful for the community support through the GoFundMe, and says the money will help make sure the diner stays open to serve up delicious meals and friendship for years to come.
"To know you have made an impact in the community, that you love, so much, you forget that you were important just like those people are important to us we are to them," Rentoulis says.