Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

    Zoës Kitchen donates to Rise Foundation


    In 1995, Zoë Cassimus and her husband, Marcus, started a business in Homewood, Ala. They believed in a balance of great food, great friends and great service. Today, 16 years later, they have 53 locations across the U.S. and still work around those same beliefs.

    From Sept. 1 until the 15, Zoës Kitchen will be donating $5 from every dinner for four sold to the Rise Foundation in honor of the Cassimus’ granddaughter, Zoë Bromberg, who died in a fatal motorcycle accident while visiting Spain last July. The Rise Foundation is an advocate for children born with physical and developmental disabilities.

    The event will take place at the Zoës Kitchen in Bromberg’s hometown of Jacksonville, Fla. as well as the locations throughout Alabama, including the new establishment in the south end of Bryant-Denny Stadium.

    “We were a little shocked about how people have responded this quickly,” said Tyre Stuckey, regional vice president of Zoës Kitchen. “We just started this campaign, and I already have 20 emails from people who just want to donate cash in honor of Zoë. It all roots back to how big of an influence she had on people. She had such a true light about her, and that is why this is so hard. You can’t imagine the feedback. I have even gotten an email from a guy in Canada.”

    Stuckey, who started with the family when they were still a very small business group, explained how Bromberg was known as Little Zoë and her grandmother was known as Big Zoë.

    “I was on a plane with Big Zoë, and she was crying,” Stuckey said. “She looked at me, and she said, ‘Tyre, you have got to do something. You have got to do something. She was too special to not do something for someone else.’ And I prayed about it. And the Rise program made perfect sense. It was not only her sorority, Kappa Delta’s philanthropy, but she was the kind of person that wanted to help everyone. It didn’t matter where you were from or what you looked like.”

    In addition to memorializing Bromberg, the event will also be a much-appreciated gift to the Rise foundation and the children who attend.

    “Here at Rise, we have to raise most of our operating budget through planned fundraisers and it is very difficult, so this is something that was truly an unexpected surprise and blessing,” said Martha Cook, executive director of all Rise schools. “And I know it will be a huge success because everyone loves Zoës. Zoë was a kind and caring person, so I know that this is the perfect way to remember her by.”

    Although Rise has been on campus for 37 years, Cook explains that, without experience, it is impossible to truly understand what an impact it has on not only the children’s lives, but also the people who work there.

    “To understand Rise, you need to see it,” Cook said. “The minute you come in the doors, you are surprised because of everything that goes on here. It’s a place where miracles go on everyday. It’s very uplifting. People enjoy working here. You can see how much positive energy is devoted to the children. We are so lucky to have this program at the University.”

    Stuckey said the fundraiser plays an important role in the healing process.

    “This event is important because Little Zoë was brought up in a family like any other who had good times and bad times, but they all knew that if they could get good people together on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday night with good food and drinks, everything would be okay,” Stuckey said. “And that is what this is all about. Bringing people together.”

    Any additional donations to the Rise program in honor of Zoë Bromberg can be made online at


    More to Discover