Lancaster businesses unite to raise funds for people affected by hurricane in Puerto Rico

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LANCASTER, Pa. -- Puerto Rico was hit by Hurricane Irma and then Hurricane Maria, and people in Lancaster are uniting to help.

Wayne Mutata, a fitness professional with ITrain Studio, said, "Right now the world is a crazy place, and all we have is each other."

About 20 businesses in Lancaster are raising money to give back.

Louis Pagan, the general manager of Catalina's on Orange, said, "We can do it. Hopefully we can come up with a really nice goal, and be able to continue to help out the community and families that are in need."

On Tuesday, those businesses will have fundraisers, and the proceeds will go to the Mennonite Disaster Service.

Larry Stoner, the regional operations coordinator for Mennonite Disaster Service, said, "It seems like Puerto Rico has been hit so hard that it's going to be a long road to recovery, and the more partners we connect with the better it's going to be for the people of Puerto Rico."

For many of the business owners, this is personal. The have family members on the island.

Nicole Vasquez, the owner of That Shuu Girl Boutique and Nicole Taylor Boutique, said, "We've been trying to reach out to them, haven't heard anything from them at all. So this really touches home for me and my family, so when he asked me to be involved I couldn't say no."

Randolph Hernandez, who organized the event, said, "I only heard from them once three days ago. My cousins did relay a message. And she had to travel 3 hours to get some kerosene for the generator, and that was the last time I heard from her."

But the help doesn't stop here.

Dwayne Smith, the owner of Elite Entertainment Services, said, "This is going to be an ongoing effort to collect money and get it to the appropriate places. So the donation centers might change, the businesses might change, but the goal is always going to remain the same."

Here is the list of businesses participating in the fundraiser on Tuesday.

Character's Pub
Iron Horse
Catalina's On Orange
The Cellar On Market
Himalayan Curry And Grill
Miesse Candies
Lemon Street Market
Cafe Di Vetro
The Fridge
That Shuu Girl Boutique
Nicole Taylor Boutique
El Jardin Garden And Flower Shop
ITrain Studio (with Wayne Mutata)

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