ELKHART — The wrestling ring at Texas Roadhouse’s annual Headlock on Hunger certainly featured its share of hero characters, but for Church Community Services, the heroes could be found inside the restaurant.
The partnership between CCS and Texas Roadhouse entered its fifth year Sunday, July 14, with a few changes, but still retained the crowd-pleasing wrestling match by Impact Christian Wrestling.
By 5 p.m., Texas Roadhouse had raised around $4,000 to support the agency with hopes of going even higher by the time the day-long event shut down.
Ten percent of all the money the restaurant brought in Sunday will be donated to CCS, primarily to help the agency make sure its food pantry program is stocked and balanced.
The restaurant also offered green bracelets for a donation that will qualify donors for special restaurant deals throughout the year.
Tommy Harrell, managing partner of Texas Roadhouse, noted that this year’s event did not include a canned food drive as in previous years. Organizers of the event decided to do the food drive in conjunction with the restaurant’s golf outing this fall, which is another annual fundraiser for CCS.
Harrell said splitting the events was advantageous for several reasons.
Holding both the canned food drive and fundraiser in the summer presented the restaurant with lots of competition, whether from other charities and golf tournaments, or from many people simply being on vacation.
Harrell said splitting the fundraising from the food drive should maximize the impact the restaurant can have for CCS. Between the two events, Harrell expects the total donations raised to exceed $10,000.
CCS Executive Director Rod Roberson continually praised Texas Roadhouse’s generosity and willingness to partner with the agency.
“There are not many restaurant chains that have this kind of relationship with the community,” he said. “Their actions are emblematic of that.”
Roberson added simply receiving the cash donations at once is also helpful to the agency’s staff.
The cash donations allow pantry staff to directly address the agency’s needs as far as what they might be running low on.
Though this summer has not been too rough on CCS’ food pantry due to contributions including the Seed to Feed program, summer has historically not been a great time for food donations.
That’s where events such as Headlock on Hunger really come through. “When you reach (summer months), that’s where promotions like this really help,” Roberson stated.
To show their appreciation, several members of the CCS staff volunteered as hosts to personally thank the people who were contributing to the event by eating at the restaurant.
Harrell said Texas Roadhouse is proud to help the community in any way it can and is always looking for other ways to contribute.
“We provide a small portion to what they (CCS) do,” Harrell said. “But to be involved in the community, that’s how things get changed.”