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Trust fund established for JJ’s staff

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The owners of JJ's Restaurant on the Country Club Plaza have established a trust fund for its employees injured in the blast and others who might have been hurt, including emergency responders.

The Sprint Center Foundation and CEO of AEG said both groups will contribute $25,000 each towards the trust fund, for a combined $50,000.

"Because of the incredible generosity of the greater Kansas City community, significant funds have been contributed to support JJ’s staff who have suffered financial, medical and emotional loss as a result of the explosion that occurred at the restaurant on Feb. 19," a statement said.

All money received by JJ’s to provide staff assistance will be deposited into the fund.

Co-owner Jimmy Frantze said the money helps, but the damage goes beyond financial.

"My staff wakes up with nightmares."

Frantze said one server, Megan Cramer, was killed and another employee, a sous chef, was nearly killed.

"My sous chef was still in the kitchen, half-buried in the rubble. One of my bartenders grabbed a passer-by in the street, ran back into the building when it was on fire and pulled Patrick Woodward's his name- out of the rubble, out of the fire, and no doubt saved his life."

The restaurant said they had made a $5,000 donation, previous to the $50,000 donation made Thursday evening.

JJ’s will not control the fund -- Instead, it will be under the control of 3 trustees: One JJ’s staff member and two independent community leaders to be identified in the near future, Frantze said.

If money is left over after assistance is given to those that need it, the restaurant said they plan to give the remaining balance to a Kansas City charity.

If you'd like to donate, JJ's said they are in the process of establishing a way to do so with Country Club Bank. Details are expected on the restaurant's Facebook page.

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