BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. – Patricia Dezman says when she saw the story of an unemployed single mother and her 8-year-old son air on News 6 this week, she told her husband David she had just seen her “God wink," referring to the inspirational book series by former TV executive Squire D. Rushnell.
“Her emphasis on mother is what really got to me," Dezman said Wednesday. ”I wanted to cry with her.”
Juliann “Juli” Cyhan was furloughed from her server position with the New England Eatery and Pub in Melbourne Beach the weekend after St. Patrick’s Day and amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Her aunt and uncle own the popular seafood restaurant and she understands that without customers and product, there is no business and no money.
Like so many of the state’s unemployed, Cyhan has been unable to get into the Department of Economic Opportunity’s website.
When News 6 investigator Mike Holfeld told her the Dezmans wanted to help her with $750, she was overwhelmed.
“It’s nice to know that people care," a tearful Cyhan said.
To make the moment more personal, News 6 connected Cyhan and the Dezmans via Zoom so they could meet.
They agreed to meet this week to personally give Juliann the check for $750.
Cyhan received more good news Wednesday that a seafood supplier will be able to get a limited amount of fresh fish to the restaurant once a week.
The New England eatery will reopen on a limited basis beginning next Thursday.
The 25% capacity limit mandated by the state’s first phase of the plan to reopen Florida’s economy will limit hours, tips and paychecks, but Cyhan said it’s a start to get back to normal.
“It’s a group thing, it’s a community thing,” Dezman said. “It spreads like wildfire. If we could keep it going, what a world we would be.”
If you would like to help a family or you have a story to share, email Mike Holfeld at Mholfeld@wkmg.com.