CEDAR FALLS, Iowa (KWL) — This weekend, a restaurant chain in Cedar Valley is raising money for the Schmidt family.
Last Friday, Tyler Schmidt, Sarah Schmidt and their 6-year-old daughter, Lula Schmidt, were shot and killed while camping in Maquoketa Caves State Park. The Schmidts’ 9-year-old son, Arlo, survived the attack. Later that day, authorities found the suspected shooter dead from what they believe was a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
From Friday to Sunday, at Carlos O’Kelly’s locations in Waterloo and Cedar Falls, all proceeds from dessert sales will go directly to Arlo and the Schmidt family.
“We’ve always been a very family-run business,” said general manager Rachel McCullough. “We just jumped at the chance to see how we could support the family.”
On Friday afternoon, McCullough said she saw a mix of people coming just for dessert and others who wanted to help the family.
“A lot of people were too full to have dessert because they just donated money,” she said. “We are always ready to take that to give to the family.”
Participants can enter their name in a draw to win a basket. There is a children’s version filled with lots of coloring books and an adult version filled with margarita glasses.
“Word got out more than expected,” McCullough said. “It was awesome. Just on social media and Facebook. Everyone shared it, all my staff shared it, and we’re just hoping for a good turnout this weekend.”
A Fundraising GoFundMe A page has been created to help Arlo following the tragedy. At the time of this publication, the page has generated over $261,000 in donations. This money will go into a trust to give him more financial stability in the future.
Friends created a train-meal account for the family. People can either contribute funds or provide them with a real meal.
The Carlos O’Kelly branches in Waterloo and Cedar Falls are open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday.
“I encourage anyone who hasn’t donated or shown support to come get a dessert or check out the GoFundMe page and see if you can help out,” McCullough said.