• October 23, 2014

Local businesses give back

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Posted: Monday, December 16, 2013 12:43 pm

Several area eateries and bars are stepping up to help community organizations by donating a portion of sales on designated days.

“We just do it to give back,” said Todd Smith, co-owner of Red’s Corner Grill in Harker Heights. “It is great that Red’s is a part of this.”

On Tuesday, Red’s will donate 10 percent of its food sales and collect unwrapped gifts for the Harker Heights Santa Pal Program.

“If we give one toy to make one kid’s Christmas, that is all that matters,” Smith said. “It is just about spreading some cheer around here and helping out the people who are in need.”

Papa John’s locations in Temple, Belton and Harker Heights will donate 20 percent of sales to the Children’s Advocacy Center of Central Texas on Friday.

“At the end of the day, this is what we do,” said Mike Bounds, Papa John’s director of operations in Central Texas. “We take a lot of pride in better ingredients, better pizza and we want to be a better provider (to the community).”

Joker’s IceHouse Bar & Grill makes monthly donations to the Fort Hood Fisher House, which houses families of soldiers who are in medical crisis.

The bar donated more than $1,000 Friday.

“One of the (owners) major priorities is giving back to the community,” said Dean Lewis, entertainment and event director at Joker’s IceHouse.

Fundraisers at Joker’s are only possible because of the patrons, Lewis said.

“Our customers are more than happy to donate, because they know this community,” Lewis said. “And I will give a lot of credit to the local motorcycle clubs who give.”

Papa John’s fundraiser is just one part of a larger fundraising campaign, and it drew in more than 10 percent of the money the center raised last year.

“It is a really easy way to eat pizza and help a cause,” said Michelle Carter, executive director of the Children’s Advocacy of Center of Central Texas.

For Santa Pal, the goal Red’s has will go a long way, said Harker Heights Fire Chief Jack Collier, whose department works with the Harker Heights Lions Club for the Christmas program.

Santa Pal feeds families a traditional holiday meal and provides presents for children. Last year, the program spent about $6,000 on its mission.

“It means a lot that they want to get involved and help people,” Collier said. “With more and more participation by area businesses, ... we are ensured this program is going to continue.”

While business may receive some benefits such as getting extra people into their establishments or more sales for the day, the fundraisers aren’t about the money, Bounds said.

“It is just the right thing do,” he said.

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