Many people who dined at Chili’s restaurant in Hinesville yesterday helped city firefighters raise money for the Muscular Dystrophy Association. Chili’s donated 10 percent of its sales Tuesday to the firefighters’ MDA fundraising campaign.
Roland Evans, an engineer with the Hinesville Fire Department, said he and senior firefighter Mike Scoggins initially stopped by Chili’s to obtain a $100 hole sponsorship for the department’s upcoming benefit golf tournament, set for Saturday, Sept. 26, at Cherokee Rose Golf Course on Highway 84 in Hinesville.
However, Chili’s general manager, Jermaine Moncur, wanted to do more than write a check for a hole sponsorship, Evans said.
“That’s how we got started (with Give Back Day),” the firefighter said.
“We have done (Give Back Day) before,” Moncur said. “We’ve done it for the American Red Cross. We’ve been looking for any opportunity to give back to the community.”
Moncur said Hinesville is a small town and its residents seem to care about one another.
“Ninety percent of our customers said it was great we were doing this today (Tuesday,)” he said.
“About 50 percent of the people we saw at lunch, we haven’t served before. People are willing to help out.”
Chili’s mailed out coupons to be used for Give Back Day, and the Hinesville Fire Department also handed out event fliers yesterday. Moncur said if a guest asked to support the MDA fundraiser, the restaurant honored the request even if the guest didn’t have a coupon.
Moncur said Chili’s will also participate in the fire department’s Sept. 26 golf tournament.
The tournament will begin with registration at noon, followed by a 1 p.m. shotgun start. Teams of four can compete. Green fees and food and drink will be included in the $50 per person entry fee.
Players can win prizes for best ball, closest to the pin, longest drive and first through third place. The prize for a hole-in-one on the third hole is a Ford Mustang GT donated by Hinesville Ford.
Evans said firefighters have set a $5,000 fundraising goal for MDA.
In addition to raising money through Give Back Day and the golf tournament, the department will hold a “Boot Drive” starting at 9 a.m. Sunday at Wal-mart on Highway 84 in Hinesville.
The department holds two Boot Drives a year; to raise money for MDA and to raise money for the Burn Foundation, Evans explained.
To sign up for the golf tournament, call the Hinesville Fire Department at 876-4143.