Dickey's Barbecue to hold fundraiser for York City homicide victim

Matthew Alexander Bell

Friends and co-workers of York County homicide victim Matthew Alexander Bell are holding a fundraiser to help pay for his funeral costs.

Bell, 31, worked at Dickey's Barbecue Pit in West Manchester Township and was well loved as an employee there. He was the "block person" who talked to customers directly about what kind of meat they wanted to order. 

But he did whatever was needed of him, too — the oil, the grease, scraping the pit — never with any question or argument, said restaurant manager Chelsey Ruppert.

"He was always happy, positive," she said. "I don’t think he was ever mad and upset in here."

Customers came in asking for him — every customer, she said.

Bell was fatally shot Monday, Feb. 12, in the 200 block of South Penn Street, when someone from outside fired bullets into a home.

The restaurant is partnering with Buffalo Wild Wings for a fundraiser for Bell's family Friday, Feb. 23. From open to close, 15 percent of proceeds from orders will be given to his mother, Cidney Thomas, to help pay for funeral costs.

Their goal is to raise $1,000, Ruppert said, but they hope to give anything they can.

"The money is just for her," she said — for whatever Thomas needs it for, including expenses to get Bell to Baltimore, where the funeral will be held.

"We can’t believe it’s true," Ruppert said, reflecting on Bell's death. 

She said they expect him to walk through the door at any moment and say, "Just kidding," because that's just how he was.

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Ruppert was one of the employees who had worked with Bell from the beginning, and she said it's been rough knowing that he's gone. 

She hopes for a strong turnout to support Bell on Feb. 23 — Dickey's might extend its hours depending on how many people come.

The restaurant posted a statement on Facebook expressing condolences for Bell and saying how much everyone will miss him.

"Matt worked with us for over a year, and became family," the post read.