COLORADO SPRINGS (FOX21) – A Turkish restaurant in Colorado Springs raised thousands of dollars for earthquake victims in Turkey. The fundraiser on Sunday, March 5, was hosted by the owner of Purple Onion who lost 18 family members to the earthquake.

Hundreds of people showed up to the Purple Onion to eat authentic Turkish food, enjoy music, and support the family of the restaurant owner, Erdal Bengogullari.

“We heard that the gentleman that owns this restaurant had family members that were involved in the earthquake…So we just wanted to come down and help support them,” said Rosa Brassart, a Purple Onion customer waiting in line for food.

It was a food fundraiser, where customers would pay $20 per plate, and donate more if they wished. 100% of the money raised from Sunday’s fundraiser would go to Bengogullari’s family and other victims of the earthquake.

Bengogullari spent all night cooking, in preparation for the fundraiser.

“We started at six o’clock last night…We stayed up all night, I cooked it myself as I promised…I feel like all the hard work that I put in is paying off and for a good cause,” said Bengogullari.

There were two main dishes, one chicken, and one beef, paired with a number of sides.

“Oh, the food is so good…We have really really good Mediterranean food in the Springs and this is one of our favorites,” said Brassart.

The customers said that showing up for each other is what the community is for.

“We need to be there for each other, because then, who else is going to be there?” said Brassart.

Through Sunday’s fundraiser as well as the GoFundMe page, Bengogullari hopes to raise $50,000 to send to his family and the victims of the earthquake. So far Bengogullari is almost halfway to his goal.

“I want to thank Purple Onion customers. What tremendous support we are getting. And I thank you and I appreciate you. We are not done yet. We are going to keep it going,” said Bengogullari.