MIDDLETOWN, R.I. (WPRI) — One local community came together this week to show support for a family that recently suffered an unthinkable tragedy.
Seven-year-old Ramon Arroyo was killed earlier this month after his East Main Road home caught fire. His two teenage sisters were also injured in the fire.
Wednesday, members of Middletown’s school department, volunteers and local businesses held a pasta dinner at the town’s high school. All of the proceeds will go directly to the Arroyo family. The goal of the benefit was to raise $5,000 for the family. At the beginning of the night, organizers received a private donation of $4,000.
Organizers said it took 250 pounds of pasta and 70 gallons of sauce to pull the dinner off.
“And then we went through 1,400 meatballs,” said Tony Raposa.
Hundreds of people turned out to show their support.
“I just wanted to support Ramon I think that it was really tragic and I feel bad,” said John Wiest of Joseph Gaudet Middle School.
“When I look around the room, and I see the age of the people that are here from 90-year-olds to babies with families that are not just Middletown families but are families that want to do something for the Arroyo family, I’m just so proud,” said Middletown High Principal Gail Abromitis. “The kids are here supporting their peers. It’s more than what I thought it was going to be.”
Last week, the high school did a green out – wearing Ramon’s favorite color. That fundraiser brought in more than $1,500.
The school said it should know Thursday how much the pasta dinner raised – but they said they are sure it was more than $5,000.