Cookout for the Colony: Moving forward after death of restaurant owner

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A pillar of the Cleveland Heights community for decades, Jim Brennan, 61, is still bringing people together.

"After Jim died, I was wondering, 'what can I do for The Colony?' So, I thought a cookout would be perfect because the restaurant provides food, in addition to alcohol," said Steve Cerne of Hudson.

Cerne is among those who organized “The Cookout for the Colony” at the Church of the Saviour on Lee Road from 4 p.m. - 8 p.m. on July 19.

"The money raised will go directly to The Colony Memorial Fund and where the money will be used will be determined by the family.  And from what I know, the family wants it to go directly back into the business," said Cerne.

Brennan's restaurant on Lee Road remains closed after he was shot to death in an attempted robbery inside his restaurant back on June 30.

In addition, an online fundraiser has been set up to support employees during the time the restaurant is closed.

So far, more than $50,000 has been raised.

"The money was used to pay the employees at least two weeks' salary. I know they are hoping to open the restaurant again soon, possibly by the end of the month," said Rita Speidel, organizer.

The cookout is open to the community, family, and friends.

Organizers said Jim Brennan would have wanted it that way. "We are excited to raise money for the Brennans and the Brennan's Colony, but it's also time for the community to come together and support, to heal," said Loretta Dahlstrom, organizer.

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