RACINE — Tasia White, owner of TaejaVu’s on Main, did her best to hold back tears as Stan Anderson, who has raised more than $50,000 for Racine County businesses so far through the Venmo Challenge, counted out hundred-dollar bills.
The more bills Anderson handed White, the harder it was for her to keep the tears from coming. By the end of it, Anderson had rallied $4,000 to give — 40 one hundred dollar bills — made up of community members’ donations.
“We’re all here for you,” Anderson said, gesturing to the dozens of spectators.
“I’m so overwhelmed,” White said, standing alongside her husband, Levon. “Thank you all.”
The donation comes after White was the victim of a robbery at her restaurant on March 27.
According to a Facebook post on her restaurant’s page, the robbery occurred while White was opening the restaurant. While receiving the donation, White said: “Thank God I’m safe and was able to walk away without harm. I’m so thankful for the love I’ve received.”
Community members left comments of support on her post, showing love for the restaurant that has been open for less than half a year. It wasn’t long before it got the Venmo Challenge’s attention.
Joan Roehre, owner of Social on Sixth, said showing up to support White was “the right thing to do.”
“When I heard about (the robbery), I knew I needed to come,” Roehre said. “Racine is better than this. We need to stay together.”
John Auer, owner of Captain John’s Sammys & Such on Main Street, was also a local merchant in attendance.
“With everything going on, people don’t realize (business owners) are suffering,” Auer said, adding that a robbery can affect a business even more.