When more than two feet of rain fell in just 24 hours in 2014, Pensacola, Florida, flooded. The rising waters that flowed across roads and into homes and businesses did not spare Ruby Tuesdays, which was forced to close because of damage. Two years later, Ruby Tuesdays in Pensacola re-opened, and made a contribution to the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society.
Before the restaurant officially re-opened to the public, it held a friends and family night, where friends and family of the employees were invited for a free dinner so the staff could train. “Everyone eats for free, but according to Florida law, we’re not allowed to give away alcoholic beverages,” explained Pensacola Ruby Tuesdays General Manager Greg Cabrera. So the restaurant’s corporate office asked Cabrera to find a local charity to which they could donate proceeds from the bar.
“We’re located close to Naval Air Station Pensacola,” Cabrera said, “so we wanted to support the military community. Adam Trinkle, one of my managers, pulled me aside and told me about NMCRS. He said he had received money for college from the Society.”
Cabrera called the Society’s Pensacola office and worked with Relief Services Assistant Amanda Shadden. “Amanda was very helpful,” Cabrera said. “She even sent some Sailors out to perform a flag-raising ceremony on our opening day—May 23. We have a giant flag pole but we hadn’t flown a flag since 2004 when ours was beaten up by Hurricane Ivan. We had a lot of guests show up just to watch the ceremony. They sang and raised the flag and made the day really special.”
The friends and family night ended up bringing in $1000 in alcohol sales, all of which was donated to the Society. “We stated that we were donating proceeds to NMCRS on our invitations and we told everyone at the tables what we were doing. Amanda and a couple other people from NMCRS showed up and talked to some of our guests. The whole process was great.”
Thank you to Greg Cabrera and Ruby Tuesdays for your generous donation and your new partnership with NMCRS!
By Betsy Rosenblatt Rosso