The community is coming out in force to help the family of a popular Hudson Valley chef who died suddenly at the age of 47.
Chay Ortiz, the founder of Mole Mole, a Mexican eatery in the City of Poughkeepsie, died at home on Tuesday, March 2, according to his obituary.
Known for his truly authentic Mexican food, and super friendly demeanor, Ortiz was busy working on his second restaurant located in the old Cafe Arora at the time of his death.
Since his death, friends and customers alike have contributed to a GoFundMe account to cover funeral expenses as well as to express condolences.
On the page, the family said he loved cheering people up and making them smile with his charm, as well as with good food.
To date, the fund has raised more than $5,000 of the $10,000 goal.
One poster on the site said: "So sorry to know of his loss. I love Mole Mole and have always admired his success and commitment to the community. His warm smile and wonderful food will be missed by many. Condolences to all his family and friends."
A friend on Facebook said Ortiz has donated and volunteered countless hours never forgetting where he came from.
"Even as he grew he stayed humble and brought his friend and family along for the journey. Poughkeepsie has lost a very big staple," the friend added.
To help the family, or express a word of kindness, visit the GoFundMe page here.
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