Massachusetts

‘No Warning': Restaurant Closes Before Charity Event

When a Massachusetts restaurant closed suddenly, a major charity event was left without a venue.

Brendan Walsh told NBC Boston about the stress he's faced while working on Salem Children's Charity's biggest event for the year. Everything was good to go until Wednesday morning, when he found out Victoria Station had been shut down.

"Completely out of the blue. No warning. Nothing," Walsh said. "Leaving the organization with no venue."

The next 24 hours were key. If Walsh and other board members couldn't find a place to hold the event, thousands of Salem students wouldn't have access to extra financial help.

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"We have children there with no boots. No coats. No rent," Walsh said. "They'd be living in a shelter downtown. We're a critical organization for the school children in Salem," charity board member John Walsh said.

When one door closed, another opened, and it belonged to the Hawthorne Hotel. They're willing to host the event, not charging the charity a single penny.

"These are Salem people running that hotel and they understood what this charity means to children in Salem," Brendan Walsh said. "I'm going to get a little emotional here. They just said 'We'll do it.'"

Victoria Station and the property manager both declined to say why the restaurant abruptly closed down.

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