CSULB Foundation holds fundraiser to commemorate Nohemi Gonzales
Nohemi Gonzales was a victim of the shootings that took place Nov. 13, 2015 in Paris, where she had been studying abroad (Niran Jayasiri)
By Alex Ramos Staff Writer
If you were at a California Pizza Kitchen last week, you probably saw a lot of CSULB students and professors. That’s because CPK and CSULB’s design department held a fundraiser to honor Nohemi Gonzalez.
The fundraiser took place on January 25-26 at close to 20 California Pizza Kitchen locations around Long Beach. Patrons could bring in a specially printed flyer that they could turn in to have the restaurant to donate 20% of their bill to the cause. The money raised will be used to rename one of the shops after Nohemi Gonzalez and refurbish or repair equipment.
Nohemi Gonzalez was killed in the Paris terror attacks that occurred in November. She was a senior and assistant in the design department and was spending the semester in Paris before her death.
Martin Herman, the chair of the Design department, said the idea for the fundraiser came up after an alumnus that now works at California Pizza Kitchen approached him about it. He said she explained that the restaurant has a program for conducting fundraisers. Herman got in touch with the right people and set the fundraiser up.
Herman said the fundraiser was discussed with the family to decide how the money should be used. It was decided to use the funds in the shops since she spent her time there helping her other design students.
“Nohemi was absolutely passionate,” said Herman. “She was in the shops all the time.”
Samantha Orihuela, a junior in design, took several classes where Nohemi was the assistant. She says Nohemi really cared about the students’ safety and attentive to their needs. She also says she felt really close to her due to the fact that they were both Mexican and in the design department.
“It feels kind of weird that she’s not there,” Orihuela said.
Herman said he was at a CPK location for both days of the fundraiser and that it was full students. He doesn’t know how much money was raised but he should hear back from CPK by Monday.
“A lot of teachers and students have shown up from the Industrial Design department,” said Pat Frembling, general manager of California Pizza Kitchen in Long Beach. “It’s been a busy two days for the staff, as many people have brought in flyers in support of the memorial fund.”
The fundraiser and initiative to honor Nohemi has been met with a lot of support from students and teachers in the design department. Samantha Orihuela sounded happy that her classmates are coming together to honor a friend.
“It makes me feel like the department is really close,” Orihuela said. “It accentuates everything I’ve seen.”