Middletown has been really busting its butt to get O’Rourke’s up and running again:
The response to Mr. O’Rourke’s plight has been heartwarming. Volunteers – many of them students from Wesleyan University – helped to demolish damaged portions of the diner’s interior last fall. Others set up a website and helped to organize fundraisers (the next one is tentatively scheduled for St. Patrick’s Day; check www.orourkesdiner.com for details).
Business and renovation plans are in the works. Later this month, Xavier High School will donate proceeds from a basketball game to O’Rourke’s. City hall and the chamber of commerce have lent their support, too.
Donations of cash have surpassed $140,000, according to Jane McMillan, the attorney whose Middletown firm set up a trust for the diner. Ms. McMillan said the donations, from businesses, doctors’ practices and about 300 individuals, are still flowing at a steady rate, pushing the campaign toward its $350,000 goal (a figure that includes the value of donated labor and materials).