Text And Photos
By Deb Patterson
Three families went together and worked with a local restaurant to help others in the community. A benefactor of a free dinner summed it up — “It’s helping out the community. This town pulls together as one.”
Comments of wonderful, great, awesome and amazing were echoed by those who went to The Sleepy Owl in Syracuse Sunday afternoon, March 29, to be among the first 100 to receive a free carry-out meal. Less than 80 minutes later 150 meals had been distributed. But those who received the meal didn’t just receive food. They received a little bit of encouragement from 9-year-old Norah Grossnickle.
On the front of each container was a little message from the 9-year-old. “To everyone in the world be happy.” The message included a drawing of four couples from America, Germany, France and Hawaii and the words “be happy” in their native languages.
Nine-year-old Norah Grossnickle created a message that was placed on each meal served.
Chris and LeAnn Francis, Andrew and Lindsey Grossnickle, four of the six who made the event possible, were busy handing out dinners to those who came by. While the giveaway wasn’t to begin until 4 p.m. cars began arriving at 3:15 p.m. and just kept on coming. Kim Cates, who had stopped by to place an order, stayed and assisted with the curbside delivery of meals. On-the-spot donations allowed the number of meals to be increased.
Dr. Alan and Peggy Grossnickle also were among the sponsors who made the meals possible.
While some came to get meals for themselves, others came to pick up meals to deliver to those who couldn’t get out.
“We’re just trying to help,” said Andrew Grossnickle, who noted the three families came up with the idea. “As things start getting tight for a lot of folks everyone’s got a challenge.” His wife, Lindsey noted “I’m glad we’re doing it.”
“It was such an honor to be able to aid those in need. Everyone we served was so appreciative of the opportunity,” said Chris Francis.
A few of those stopping by to pick up the meals were asked their thoughts about the generosity being shared. “It’s awesome. It’s amazing. The generosity is amazing,” said one customer who can no longer do her job. “This is wonderful. It’s great,” said another customer.
One of the people coming by has been off work for a month. “It’s good … helping out the community.”
Inside the restaurant a small number of staff from The Sleepy Owl along with a few volunteers prepared the food and assembled the dinners in plastic containers to be given out.