Restaurant Neighbor Awards Announced

Sen. Joe Fain presents the Restaurant Neighbor Award to Mill Creek Pub owner Russell Brent.

Contact: Morgan Huether,
Local Communications Manager,
360-956-7279 x135

Congratulations Washington Restaurant Neighbor Award Winners

The Washington Hospitality Association is proud to announce three of its members, Mod Pizza, Hop Jack’s and the Mill Creek Pub are the Washington state winners of the Restaurant Neighbor Award.

The National Restaurant Association’s Restaurant Neighbor Award recognizes outstanding community service among restaurants. Recipients of the state-level award are selected by the Washington Hospitality Association and nominated for the national-level award.

“These restaurants are making improvement of our community a priority,” said Anthony Anton, president and CEO of the Washington Hospitality Association. “We are honored to have them as part of our industry. They are strong examples for all of us to follow.”

MOD Pizza is headquartered in Bellevue. Each store gives 100 percent of its first-day sales to a local nonprofit, selected by employees at that location. At the Overlake location’s grand opening in July, the MOD Squad donated $3,512 to Jubilee Reach to help with the Highland STEAM program. The Redmond Ridge location donated $5,324 to the Little Bit Therapeutic Riding Center to provide equine-assisted therapy to disabled children and adults. For the grand opening of its first Eastern Washington outlet, MOD Pizza donated 100 percent of all pizza sales to the YWCA of Yakima. In addition, each year at Thanksgiving MOD runs its Spreading MODness program, in which it donates $1 from each pizza it sells across the country. The program generated $38,000 that was donated to community programs last year.

Hop Jack’s, headquartered in Seattle, established the Hop Jack’s Good Neighbor Fund to help neighbors and team members in need. The fund raised more than $88,000 and donated the money to various cancer organizations including the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance to support breast cancer and prostate cancer patients, the American Heart Association and Relay for Life. The fund was also used to support a vendor’s son after a car accident, a guest’s young child with brain cancer and a variety of other local charities. Additionally, Hop Jack’s donates 25 cents from every Hop Jack’s beer sold. In January 2017, Hop Jack’s created a program called Kids Feeding Kids. Through this program, 50 cents from every kid’s meal supports local school meal programs. Hop Jack’s also hires people with disabilities through Trillium, a nonprofit dedicated to helping disabled people find employment.

The Mill Creek Pub in Battle Ground is well-known for its community involvement. Owner Russell Brent is deeply involved in helping many nonprofit agencies. Among them is the School of Piano Technology for the Blind, the only school in the U.S. teaching blind and visually impaired people how to tune and repair pianos. One of his fundraisers brought in $1,000 for the school. Russell also hosted an event in September 2016 called Dunkin’ for Dollars for the Community Foundation for Southwest Washington, where for $10, anyone could purchase the opportunity to drop various community notables into a dunk tank. The proceeds from this event went to more than 100 nonprofits. Mill Creek Pub continues to be involved in its community by holding fundraisers, promoting events for nonprofits and donating time and money. Starting in November 2015, the Mill Creek Pub began hosting meals for dementia patients and their caregivers. The staff received basic training in serving people whose short-term memory and physical abilities may range from faltering to gone, and whose emotions may veer from perfectly content to unaccountably upset. In addition, since 2013, Russell has raised $261,000 overall to fund after school programs for the teens in his community.


About Washington’s Hospitality Industry

Hospitality is the industry that serves. It represents the largest group of private employers in the state, and the jobs the industry provides are the backbone of our state’s economy. Local restaurants and hotels employ 268,000 Washingtonians, and together hospitality businesses generate $16 billion annually in direct financial impact for Washington. Each year, the hospitality industry also pays more than $1 billion in state sales and B&O taxes and more than $5 billion in wages. The hospitality industry is key to the health of our state, the careers of our citizens and the vitality of our communities.

About the Washington Hospitality Association

Washington Hospitality is a member-based organization that works at the state and local level to find proactive solutions to the challenging issues facing the industry and its workforce. It provides its members with programs, services and the information they need to deliver great local experiences, to ensures the success of their employees, and to help their communities thrive. Washington Hospitality became the state’s second largest trade association in 2016 when the Washington Restaurant Association and Washington Lodging Association joined forces in a combined association.

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Tags: Awards