SEMINOLE, Florida -- They've got fire pits, games, even a bar made out of a school bus. But on Sunday, Screwie Louie's Porpoise Pub at 8701 Seminole Blvd. is adding something new: a benefit for the 15-year-old daughter of a longtime customer.
"When we heard this story, it really touched us," owner Screwie Louie says. "I thought it was a terrible tragedy that had happened."
Four months ago, Aurora Vestel was hit by a car in the crosswalk at 5th Ave. N. and 25th Street as she headed home from St. Petersburg High School.
"I look at her and see how far she's come," Screwie Louie says.
Aurora still has scars, though she's healing and improving every day. "I can walk now, and I'm not always stuck in a wheelchair," she says.
Police cited the driver who hit her, but the insurance policy apparently won't cover most of Aurora's care. She'll need more physical therapy and surgery, and can't return to St. Petersburg High until at least next school year.
"The hospital bills I've gotten for the first five days alone are over $200,000," says her mother, Dawn Masino.
That's where Screwie Louie came in, wanting to host a fundraiser. It starts on Sunday around 11 a.m. and will feature a pig roast for $10 a person, live music, auctions and raffles, and even an appearance from stars on the Discovery Channel reality show "Moonshiners." All the money raised will go toward Aurora's out-of-pocket medical costs.
"It feels good knowing that a lot of people care and everybody's willing to donate even though the economy's bad," Aurora says.
"She's a fighter," her mom adds. "She deserves a chance to try and get her life back together."