Three local businessmen have come together to give back to our community in a big way … $80,760 big! That is the amount of money two locally-grown businesses gave back to the community during the 2018-2019 school year.
Rick Guerra (CEO of Castle Hospitality), Russell Walker (general manager of Macaroni Grill), and Richard Guevara (general manager of Tony Roma’s) have worked together to create a program that allows both primarily schools and local non-profit organizations to fundraise in an easy and convenient way. After all, who doesn’t love to eat great food?
This program began 10 years ago and continues to grow to support school groups and community organizations across the RGV. “Giving back to the community I’ve been a part of my whole life is important to me. I’m glad we’re in a position to be able to do that,” said Guerra.
McAllen High’s Mariachi Oro group has participated in this fundraiser twice, allowing them to attend conferences and compete in competitions across the state. Nikki Rowe Theatre was able to raise funds to host their end-of-the-year banquet this past school year. AMVETS, an organization that fights for veterans to get the services they earned while on active duty, was able to raise $1,000 during their last fundraiser.
One of their most recent inspirational stories happened with the La Joya High School counseling team last school year. That group of ten counselors wanted to hold a fundraiser for scholarships for their students. They then sold enough tickets to raise $4,000 for scholarships. At the end of the fundraiser, each counselor chose one student they felt had worked hard and was truly deserving of a scholarship. Then, each counselor awarded the student they chose with a $400 scholarship.
“When I think of everything our school counselors have to do, I find it so moving that they would work so hard to do something so special for their students. I absolutely love it!” said Chris Ardis, sales coordinator for Tony Roma’s and Macaroni Grill.
How does this fundraiser work exactly? The process is simple for groups that need funds to reach their goals. Choose Macaroni Grill, Tony Roma’s or both. Choose the dates you want to sell, the restaurant orders the tickets and then the selling begins. Ticket redemption begins the Wednesday after sales end, and the tickets are good for one month. The money raised goes straight back to the organization.
“The RGV has grown in tremendous ways in the last 20 years. We want to see our community continue to grow and succeed,” said Guerra. “All that many of these organizations need is just a bit of money to be able to do that. If we can help them get the funds they need, then we’re happy to do so.”
To learn more about this, contact Ardis at firstname.lastname@example.org.