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MANASSAS, Va. — Northern Virginia Electric Cooperative (NOVEC) recently donated $1,000 to Centreville’s Ciao Osteria restaurant to support its efforts to feed hospital workers and first responders during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Sal Speziale (left), owner of Centreville’s Ciao Osteria Italian restaurant, and Chef Antonino Di Nicola receive a check from NOVEC President/CEO Stan Feuerberg (third from left) and Public Relations Vice President Lisa Hooker. Photo by Ashley Arnold.
“One of NOVEC’s corporate priorities is to give back to our communities,” said Stan Feuerberg, NOVEC president and CEO. “In recognition of the critical needs that have arisen during the coronavirus outbreak, NOVEC has contributed to Northern Virginia food banks and other charitable causes. We’re incredibly pleased to help Ciao Osteria provide meals to healthcare workers and first responders."
After Sal Speziale, owner of the Italian restaurant, and his wife, Gina, found out no one was providing meals for nurses in emergency rooms, they took action. They delivered 25 lunches to E.R. nurses at Inova Fair Oaks Hospital in March and returned with meals for dinner.
“You could see the stress on their faces,” Speziale remembered, when he and his workers first arrived at the hospital. But when the E.R. nurses took off their masks to eat, the restaurant owner said, “Their smiles gave us the energy we needed to do more.”
Meal preparation and delivery soon turned into a community effort. For two months, donations have poured in from all over the country to help Ciao Osteria reach its goal of raising $250,000 for meals for nurses, doctors, fire fighters, and 911 dispatchers -- spanning as far as Baltimore.
“One hundred percent of the funds go to the food,” said Speziale, who has maintained a positive attitude about the current crisis. “We either all win or we all lose. I think we’re going to come out of this better. I think we’re going to become a greater, stronger country and be more united.”