Flooding washes out boys’ fundraiser for Junior Olympics, leaves Luisa’s Pizza employees without paychecks

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SALEM -- The severe flooding impacting Kenosha, Racine and Walworth Counties is having a trickle-down effect on a pair of Wilmot High School students. The water washed out a big fundraiser they were relying on to help send them to the Junior Olympics.

"We're just hoping we can get through this," Paul DeLuisa said.

The severe flooding has hit Luisa's Pizza in Salem hard. Sandbagging on Wednesday night, July 12th did little to help stop the rising water.

"It filled the basement and filled the first floor a little bit," DeLuisa said.

The water forced DeLuisa to throw out a whole lot of dough.

Luisa's Pizza

Luisa's Pizza

Luisa's Pizza

Luisa's Pizza

Paul DeLuisa

"Every week, I just order food and we sell it and we order more and sell it. You just always have thousands of dollars worth of food, hundreds of dollars in beverages and liquor. It's just gone," DeLuisa said.

The restaurant will likely be closed for the next month. Thirty employees are without a paycheck. What stings just as much is the cancellation of an event scheduled to take place at the restaurant Monday, July 24th. A spaghetti dinner at Luisa's would've helped raise money to send two track stars to the Junior Olympics in Michigan. 17-year-old Jordan Jesse, a Wilmot High School senior said he's hopeful gold in the Junior Olympics will translate into scholarships. He said he's nervous he may not be able to go.

Jordan Jesse

"This past meet, I placed second in the 400 and seventh in the 200," Jesse said.

Jesse's mother Chris said about $2,000 needs to be raised to send her son and his friend, Anthony Poco, whose home was also flooded, to Michigan.

Chris Jesse is out of work -- as she's a Luisa's employee.

Jordan Jesse and Anthony Poco

"It's hard to fund it because it's a lot of travel, a lot of time, out-of-pocket expenses," Chris Jesse said.

The boys are now in a race against time. The Junior Olympics begin Saturday, July 29th.

"We just want to get these boys to the Junior Olympics and give them their dream," Chris Jesse said.

The boys have set up GoFundMe.com accounts to fund their trip:

They're also hoping someone might see this story and offer to host a spaghetti dinner for them on short notice.