SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - A fundraiser for the Benitez family after their losses in the Montecito mudflow disaster is getting a boost from Pascucci Italian restaurant in Santa Barbara.
The catastrophe earlier this month killed two young mothers and two of their children from the same large family. Lost in the weather event were Faviola Benitez Calderon, 28, Jonathon Benitez, 10, Marilyn Ramos, 27 and Kailly Benitez, 3.
Officially, 21 people died and the death toll is expected to be 23. Two children in the community have not been found.
Pascucci owner Laura Knight is selling $10 certificates good towards lunch or dinner at the restaurant. She plans to sell $1000 worth and give a check to the Benitez family to help with their funeral costs.
The gift certificates are available at the downtown restaurant location, 729 State street.
Those purchasing the gift certificates can also leave a larger donation if they choose.