Anyone who enjoys the great food and drinks scene in Houston has probably met Linda Salinas.
Whether it's working as a sommelier at Voice, mixing craft cocktails at Anvil, holding court behind the bar at Beaver's or making signature drinks for special events, Salinas has done it all, and is as beloved in the Houston foodie community for her quick smile and vivacious personality as for her knowledge and skill as a mixologist.
So the news that Salinas was in a serious scooter accident in the Heights over the weekend led not just to sadness but also a plan of action. Salinas made it through surgery and has regained consciousness and some mobility on her right side, but she is expected to stay in the intensive care unit at Ben Taub hospital for several more days. (Friends can stay updated on her status here.)
But since Linda didn't have health insurance and the accident will keep her out of work for some time, her friends are rallying to support her.
On Sunday, Linda's Block Party will take place from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. in the parking lot of Paulie's on Westheimer at Driscoll. Food trucks will be serving onsite, there will be cupcakes and more in a bake sale courtesy of Jodycakes' Jody Stevens and Fluff Bake Bar's Rebecca Masson, and the evening will feature musical performances by Benjamin Wesley and Frank Freeman.
Most importantly the event will include a silent auction with items like a tasting for four with wine at Samba Grille; a basket of wines, and a year of monthly cocktail classes at Anvil, and more. (To donate an item for the auction contact Liz Fenton at facebook.com/married2food).
In addition, Paulie's neighbor Mortar is getting in on the action on Sunday, donating a percentage of sales to Linda's family and offering free beer and food.
Those who can't attend on Sunday can donate directly here, or can make a difference by purchasing the new half-pound Rwanda Musasa coffee at Catalina Coffee — all proceeds will go to Salinas. Just ask for the "Que Linda" coffee.
So far Salinas' friends have raised almost $3,000, but that's only the beginning. Using the power of social media and the strong relationships in the Houston community, Salinas' friends and family are hoping to raise much, much more so that Linda can focus her energies on getting better — not paying her bills.