Updated: January 19, 2021 07:51 PM
Created: January 19, 2021 06:31 PM
CATSKILL - La Conca D'oro on Main Street has half its tables these days, and does takeout.
Cheryl Bergendorff has owned it for 24 years.
Like many places, the restaurant was hit hard by the pandemic, and Bergendorff wondered how they would survive.
"I really didn't think we were going to. It was down to the end. The stack of bills is this high," she said.
Then her daughter reached out to the Barstool Fund.
It was started by David Portnoy, founder of Barstool Sports, who voiced his frustration that not enough was being done to help small business owners.
Cheryl made a video on Christmas day, and was shocked and emotional to hear some great news soon after, when Portnoy called her to say he was going to help.
Video of business owners breaking down as they hear help is coming has gone viral.
The list of places around the country getting help now includes the Parting Glass in Saratoga Springs.
The Barstool Fund has raised millions of dollars.
Frank Scavio, owner of Paesan's Pizza in Latham and around the Capital Region, is one of the donors. He gave $10,000 to help others.
"And we said we've got to help these guys out because there are a lot of local places that-- I've been here 30 years now, that we love to go to and their doors are closed," said Scavio.
Paesan's was hit by the pandemic, too, but a frozen pizza review by David Portnoy gave them a big boost, and now shipping those frozen pies nationwide is a thriving part of Paesan's business.
"It's a great feeling to be able to give," said Scavio. "It's an addicting feeling, actually, to give. It feels great."
Cheryl is still shocked, but feeling very grateful.
"I -- it makes a big difference. I'm not going to cry because I have makeup on now, and it gives us all, I think, a little bit more of a push to keep going," she said.
"I think it's amazing. They've helped so many people and when you watch the videos, you can just see how relieved the people are, and I know what I felt, so I know what they're feeling."
Copyright 2021 - WNYT-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company