Poway restaurants help raise funds for family of father, son killed in crash


POWAY, Calif. — Restaurants are showing support for the father and son who were killed in a crash while leaving baseball practice in Poway a week ago.

For the next three days, Players Sports Grill in Poway will be serving up more than meals. Owner Mike Pasulka is donating one third of all sales from dine-in, takeout and gift card purchases to the family of Steve and Stephen Pirolli. 

“In Poway, we’re kind of a community,” Pasulka said. “A couple days ago was our 6-year anniversary, and we always try to help out and they really need help. This is a tragic situation.”

Officers say Steve and Stephen Pirolli were leaving baseball practice at Poway High School on Feb. 12 when their car was hit by a 19-year-old driving a Mercedes. Steve Pirolli, 54, died at the scene and his son Stephen was taken to Rady Children’s Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Family members told FOX 5 that the father and son bonded over baseball. Steve played in college and passed the love of the game onto his 13-year-old son. Support from the community immediately starting pouring in, with a memorial set up near the high school.

“I pick up my son from practice many teams a week,” Players Sports Grill customer Jesse Lozano said Friday. “To have everything go down the way it went down for this family, I just cannot imagine what that’s like.”

Pasulka said Stephen’s baseball team, San Diego Crush, frequents Players Sports Grill. This is his way to give back to a family and team that has lost so much.

“I hope that, not only do we get to assist them financially, but hopefully there will be some assistance emotionally and mentally for them also,” Pasulka said.

The fundraiser at Players Sports Grill will last through the weekend.

“It’s beyond a tragedy, so I felt, the moment I saw the flyer for this,” Lozano said. “This is the way that we can support, then we’re here.”

Another restaurant, Hop Stop on Midland Road, is holding a second fundraiser for the family until Feb. 25. More than $114,000 has been raised on a GoFundMe for the family.

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