Call it coffee for a cause.
On Wednesday, May 1, all coffee drink sales at Caffe Vita on Fourth Avenue in downtown Olympia will be donated to Siobhan Flood, an Olympia resident who is recovering at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle after being struck by a hit-and-run driver who was allegedly drunk when he crashed into her as she was walking with a group of friends in downtown Olympia in the early morning hours of March 28.
Siobhan's leg was severed when she was struck by the hit-and-run driver.
Wednesday's benefit at Caffe Vita will also include a raffle, with many downtown Olympia businesses having donated goods and services as prizes. Vintage clothing store Dumpster Values has donated a gift certificate, and other participating businesses include Psychic Sister, Hot Toddy, Onyx, Olyphant Art Supply and others. Raffle tickets are available now and cost one dollar per ticket. Last Word Books, also has contributed to the cause, agreeing to donate 25 percent of its May 1 used book sales to help Siobhan in her recovery.
Heather Penny, manager of Olympia's Caffe Vita branch said during a recent interview that she and so many others were traumatized by Siobhan's senseless injury, and wanted to do something to help.
"It feels like something needed to be done with a downtown response," she said. "We want to take care of her...People want a way to help"
Penny added that it is her understanding that there have been other benefits to help Siobhan across downtown Olympia and at other locations - a nightclub in Seattle even recently held a benefit for her. A Facebook campaign also is helping Siobhan defray her medical bills. After the crash that injured Siobhan, Penny said many of her regular customers were upset and wondering what they could do.
"The community response has been awesome," she said.
Penny said she is grateful that her employers agreed to allow all of Wednesday's coffee sales to help Siobhan.
"I called my boss, and she was like 'go for it,'" Penny said. "I feel lucky to work for a place that could afford to do this."
One local man who saw Siobhan get struck March 28, and helped give aid at the scene said he will be glad to buy coffee at Caffe Vita on Wednesday.
"I was traumatized and glad to help," Noah Saffer said. "Olympia's a great place with lots of love, and we're all friends of friends. Please don't stop helping."
Olympia police arrested Ramsey Kira at a Fern Street address the morning of March 28 after the crash. According to court papers, a white Acura lost control in the 400 block of of Fourth Avenue about 2 a.m., hitting Siobhan and several parked cars, including a police car. The driver of the Acura then exited the vehicle and fled on foot. An Olympia police officer chased the suspect for about eight blocks before losing sight of him behind a building, court papers state.
Also according to court papers:
Kira was identified as a suspect, and when he was located at the Fern Street address that morning, he admitted he was drunk and crashed into some cars at an unknown location. The arresting officer noted that Kira was wearing the same clothes as the suspect that had fled the Acura.
Kira, 22, was being held at the Thurston County Jail Friday with bail set at $250,000. He has pleaded not guilty to charges of vehicular assault and felony hit and run.
Siobhan sent an Olympian reporter a Facebook message Friday for publication.
"I'm so grateful for all the support and work that my community, family and even some amazing strangers have been doing for me," she wrote. "I feel so blessed even amidst this trauma."
Jeremy Pawloski: 360-754-5445 firstname.lastname@example.org