In the early morning hours of Sunday, June 12, 49 people were murdered, 53 people were injured and many more lives devastated by a lone gunman at Pulse Nightclub and Ultra Lounge in Orlando, Florida. The perpetrator of this most recent mass shooting targeted LGBT people.
Months ago, we planned a trip to Fort Lauderdale, Florida to spend a weekend with our best friends Christy Tweddle and Christy Cain who live outside Orlando. After the tragedy, we couldn’t wait to see their faces and give them hugs in Orlando for our first night in Florida. The Christies counted themselves as Saturday night regulars at Pulse nightclub but happened to stay home on the fateful night of the shooting — a decision that would save their lives.
Within hours of the shooting, Orlando and communities all over the world expressed love and support. Memphis and other communities held vigils and businesses raised funds to support victim’s families, Pulse employees and survivors.
In the days following the tragedy, Christy Tweddle made sure that the staff of Pulse were fed and supported. Early in the week, she stood at the deli counter at her local Fresh Market with eyes red from tears and grief. The deli staff noticed and asked if Christy was alright. She told them she was buying food for survivors of the shooting at Pulse. While in the check out line, the deli staff whispered into the ear of the clerk at Christy’s register. Her total came to $0.00. The folks at Fresh Market hire staff who really care for their community.
On the day we left for Fort Lauderdale, Christy Tweddle phoned an order for three dozen biscuits for Pulse employees from her favorite breakfast haunt in the Orlando suburb of Windermere: the Dixie Cream Cafe. We accompanied Christy to the cafe on our way out of town to pick up the biscuits. The lady at the register presented us with a huge tray of fresh buttermilk biscuits with an attached note which read: “For Christy Tweddle 11 AM. DO NOT ACCEPT PAYMENT.”
To make the flour, butter, salt and buttermilk rise into a biscuit, one must add a leavening agent like baking soda or powder. The Dixie Cream Cafe also added love and care which lifted our spirits for the survivors of last Sunday. Deep thanks to the people of Fresh Market and the Dixie Cream Cafe for your love and support.
You can make a contribution to support the employees of Pulse at this link.
Stay strong Orlando. We love you.