November 11, 2011
Restaurants step up to help Yuba City veteran and his family

Veterans Day seems to be the right time for this story:

A few years ago, Waylon Walchesky of Yuba City served in the military in Saudi Arabia, and returned home to his wife, Shelly, and their young children.

After a series of financial setbacks, one more unfortunate thing happened: Waylon Walchesky suffered a seizure earlier this week and was diagnosed with an illness likely related to his time spent in the Middle East. Concerned friends and family rushed in to help. Asked what it was the family needed most, Shelly Walchesky answered, "Meals."

That's what Dani Luzzatti of Sacramento's Bella Lu Catering came across on a friend's Facebook page, which was overflowing with expressions of sympathy and support for the family, from friends and strangers alike. She posted the situation on her own Facebook account, and the response was immediate and gratifying.

"I asked other restaurant people to help with family-friendly prepared meals," Luzzatti said today. "Within an hour, general manager Howard Cantrell (of East Bay Restaurant Supply in Sacramento) had donated a freezer, and our awesome restaurant community offered meals to fill it up."

The timing now is to deliver the meal-stuffed freezer to the Walcheskys "on Monday or Tuesday," Luzzatti said.

Among the Sacramento-area restaurants participating so far are Roxy, Lucca, Matteo's Bistro, Becky Jo Pies, Cafeteria 15L and Magpie Cafe, and Chef's Table in Rocklin, said Luzzatti.

"Several other restaurants privately responded, rather than go on a public page," she added.

For more information, email Luzzatti at

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