By Joshua Maloni
The Niagara Falls LongHorn Steakhouse served a free breakfast on Sunday to about 150 children and families who receive services from either Community Missions of the Niagara Frontier or Pinnacle Community Services (formerly Family & Children’s Service of Niagara). Those same guests also took home gifts purchased by restaurant staff.
LongHorn Managing Partner Beckie Torres said her company is charity-minded. She noted her employees were particularly keen to give back to the local community, because “We have a need here.”
Workers “adopted” children, purchasing gifts at their own expense. They also donated their time to serve breakfast and assist Santa in doling out presents.
“They think about others first,” Torres said of her staff. “They just care so much for each other and the community.”
Recipients, she explained, were grateful for the restaurant’s generosity.
Torres said the DoubleTree Hotel also provided gifts.
She acknowledged Nathan Merchant, owner of A Dependable Ride, who provided transportation to Sunday’s event at no cost. He was on hand, and said it’s important to empower others – especially when they’re dealing with personal challenges.
“My company, we’re all about giving back to the community; help out families in hard times,” Merchant said. “We like to see people with smiles on their faces.”
This is the third year LongHorn has hosted a holiday giving event. The Military Road steakhouse also regularly donates food and gives monetary donations to Community Missions.
“Community Missions has partnered with LongHorn Steakhouse for several years in a number of ways,” said Christian Hoffman, director of public relations and development. “Through its harvest program, LongHorn Steakhouse provides us with donations of food that are used in our kitchen, and their staff has participated in our fundraising events like the ‘Walk for Niagara’ over the years. We began participating in the ‘Breakfast with Santa’ event last year, and all of the attendees have enjoyed being able to take part so much!”
“We’re so very thankful to LongHorn Steakhouse and their wonderful staff for making this event so special,” said Andrew Mantione, vice president of development and communications at Pinnacle Community Services. “The fact that they gave of themselves to brighten up the holidays for the children we serve shows the real meaning of Christmas. To each and every one at LongHorn we say, ‘Thank you,' from the bottom of our hearts. You are truly angels who walk among us, and we’re sure that kindness you’ve shown our children has had a true impact on their lives!"