Lakewood’s Community Collaboration, made up of over 100 human service organizations, service clubs, businesses, individuals and public entities presents each month a “Caught In The Act & of Keeping Lakewood’s Promise” Award to an individual or organization that has quietly performed an outstanding deed for a family/child in the City of Lakewood. The January recipient is David Hill, General Manager at the Lakewood Old Country Buffet.
As General Manager of Old Country Buffet, David has generously opened his restaurant for many community activities before the start of their normal lunch and dinner crowd. His most recent partnership is with Pierce College offering GED classes for those students wishing to complete their high school diploma. For the last 2 1‚ÅÑ2 years on Monday through Friday between 9 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. as many as 25-30 students gather at Old Country Buffet. According to Bill Orrange, Pierce College representative, “To some students the non-traditional environment is preferable and the complementary beverage is a bonus.” David Hill, himself a GED recipient, speaks to each class and offers practice job interviews to students.
For the last four years in collaboration with Communities In Schools of Lakewood, Old Country Buffet has opened its doors for CISL’s annual fundraiser, Champions for Youth Breakfast. Youth accomplishments in Lakewood are celebrated and volunteers are acknowledged. Coming up on Jan. 19 Pierce County Mentoring Partnership Breakfast, sponsored by the Alliance for Youth of Pierce County, will be held at Old Country Buffet. On these special occasions David personally comes in to cook for the event — even if it falls on his normal day off.
David is always willing to give troubled youth a chance at employment. He works closely with WorkSource, providing their clients marketable skills.
For two years, David has been most generous with the KIRO Holiday Magic, a program for Washington’s Foster Families where three wishes are granted to deserving young people. The volunteers who work to make these wishes happen were provided food as they assemble the wishes during the holiday season.
David started with Old Country Buffet in 1997 and has worked in every position with the company. He has a 3 year old son.
David Hill and Lakewood Old Country Buffet are great examples of community collaboration, supporting families in Lakewood. They receive the traveling Red Wagon, a symbol of Lakewood’s Promise of people pulling their weight to help the youth in Lakewood. Lakewood’s Promise mission is to mobilize people from every sector of life in Lakewood to build the character and competence of our youth by fulfilling these Five Promises:
* Caring Adults & Provide ongoing relationships with caring adults – parents, mentors, tutors and coaches
* Safe Places & Provide safe places with structured activities during non-school hours
* Healthy Start & Provide all the elements leading to good physical/mental health for a healthy future
* Marketable Skills & Provide marketable skills through effective education
* Opportunities to Serve & Provide youth with opportunities to serve in their community