ORLANDO, Fla. – An owner of a local kickboxing club is doing his part as a pizza delivery man for hospital workers.
Robert Grabowski is an owner at CKO Kickboxing in Thornton Park. He knew giving out pizza would be his way of helping.
"Just felt like it was the easiest way," he said. "Everybody loves pizza. I wanted to bring them lunch."
Grabowski was working on Wall Street when the terrorist attacks happened on Sept. 11, 2001. He wanted to do something then and now delivering pizzas is his way to give back.
“I was like so many New Yorkers, just at home watching TV in tears, but I wanted to (help)‚” he said. “I feel like I have more to give or felt like I had more to give. This now is my opportunity to try and make a difference and touch some people. That’s all.”
Grabowski is getting the pizzas from Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza in Dr. Phillips and taking them to local hospitals. Some places he has visited include Orlando Health Dr. P. Phillips Hospital, Orlando Regional Medical Center and AdventHealth East Orlando.
He has delivered close to 70 pizzas and raised nearly $600 from kickboxing members. Grabowski tries to deliver the pizzas three times a week.
JC Garcia, the general manager at Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza in Dr. Phillips, said the location normally gives out pizza to people in need, which helps grow the business. When Grabowski reached out, Garcia was on board.
“I said, ‘Let’s do it,’” he said. “'(Let’s) see what else he can bring to us, and we are here to help them, all the time.'”
Manager Brittany Rothenburg supported Grabowski giving back.
“We really stand behind helping the community,” she said. “So, we definitely wanted to jump up and reach out for this opportunity to help out in the community and show our appreciation for our local health care professionals.”
Grabowski wants to keep delivering to hospitals until it is unsafe to do so. He said the emotional reactions from the workers include shock, surprise, smiles and tears.
“You don’t realize how good it feels until you do it, until you get people’s reactions,” he said. “So, very emotional. One hundred percent positive; no negativity.”
People can donate by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling CKO Kickboxing at 407-205-7763.