The Common Man’s Alex Ray heads to Puerto Rico to assist those in need

Ray’s NH Hospitality family hosts week-long fundraiser in support of his trip.

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Alex Ray in Haiti, following the 2010 earthquake, creating a makeshift coffee making system.

ASHLAND, NH – The head of New Hampshire’s Common Man family of restaurants is traveling to hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico to lend a hand in feeding residents who are still struggling without basic necessities after the destructive storm.

Alex Ray, of Holderness, travels to Puerto Rico Thursday morning with the intent of assisting with or setting up kitchen operations to serve residents of villages who are without safe housing, water and power.

“This is what I do, this is my profession,” said Ray. “I feed people, and they need our help.”  Ray said he learned from a local Plymouth resident, who has a home in Puerto Rico, about the areas in need. “He’s made contacts for me with organizations over there,” said Ray.  “We’ll head into the mountain villages outside of the metro San Juan area where they still really need help.”

While Ray is volunteering in Puerto Rico, his Common Man family of 16 restaurants, two inns, company store and performance center will run a week-long fundraiser to support hurricane relief efforts in Puerto Rico.  During the “Weathering It Together” fundraiser, any guest who makes a donation of $10 or more to the company’s Common Effort fund between Friday, October 13 and Friday, October 20, will receive a $10 Do Good Bonus Card. The Common Man family will match all donations that are received during the fundraiser, and Ray will determine the best allocation of the funds while he’s in Puerto Rico during his volunteer trip. Donations will be accepted at all Common Man family locations. The Do Good Bonus Card is valid for a $10 discount off a guest’s food bill during their next visit*.

Traveling to areas that have suffered natural disasters is not new for Ray.  He drove a Common Man company van down to New Orleans after hurricane Katrina, finding his way into food operations at shelters, and on shifts with the United States Humane Society (USHS), rescuing pets that had been left behind in homes.  He also flew to Haiti after a devastating earthquake, traveling with a group of doctors and nurses who assisted victims injured in the quake.  While the medical teams tended to patients, Ray found ways to feed the crews, and used his Yankee ingenuity to create a makeshift coffee maker, a welcome sight for weary villagers and volunteers.

Ray said he’s limited in the amount of tools and supplies he can bring with him on the plane to Puerto Rico, but will do what he can to provide assistance. “I’ve got my brain, energy and a can-do attitude,” said Ray. “We’ll see what we can do.”

While on the ground in Puerto Rico, Ray plans to send details back to New Hampshire regarding relief efforts and his first-hand experiences.  Updates will be posted on thecman.com and the company’s social networks including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram @thecmannh.

Founded in 1971, the Common Man family in New Hampshire is made up of 16 restaurants, two Inns, a Spa and Salon, Company Store and The Flying Monkey Movie House and Performance Center.  Common Man locations include Common Man restaurants in Lincoln, Ashland, Concord, Claremont, Merrimack and Windham; The Common Man Inn & Spa, Foster’s Boiler Room, Italian Farmhouse and The Flying Monkey in Plymouth; The Common Man Inn & Restaurant in Claremont; Lakehouse Grille, Camp, Lago and Town Docks in Meredith; Route 104 Diner in New Hampton; Tilt’n Diner in Tilton; Airport Diner in Manchester; and the Common Man Company Store in Ashland.  For more information about The Common Man, visit thecman.com.