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News release — 18 April 2013
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OLYMPIA, Wash.—The WRA is proud to congratulate El Gaucho Hospitality for receiving the National Restaurant Association’s (NRA) 2013 Restaurant Neighbor Award. The iconic Puget Sound restaurant was honored in Washington D.C. today during the NRA’s Public Affairs Conference in Washington D.C., where El Gaucho Hospitality owner Paul Mackay accepted the award.

The NRA selected El Gaucho Hospitality, in the mid-size business category, from a field of applicants throughout the country. During the past decade, El Gaucho Hospitality has donated more than $3 million across dozens of local charities, including Boys and Girls Clubs, American Heart Association, Ronald McDonald House, The Heads Up Youth Foundation, Seattle Humane Society and Medical Teams International, among others.

Of particular significance is the company’s commitment to serving the city’s homeless population at Seattle’s Union Gospel Mission (UGM). Twice a month, a team of volunteers from El Gaucho and AQUA by El Gaucho prepares, transports and serves lunch to more than 250 men at the Mission. This group has served more than 10,000 meals so far, and works closely with UGM on its event and fundraising efforts.

“It’s been said that the greatness of any society is measured by how it treats the weakest of its citizens,” said Jeff Lilley, president of UGM. ”Seattle would then be measured to be one of the great cities, because of the presence and heart of Aqua/El Gaucho. They are helping change a city. They are helping to change lives. And we are honored to have them in our community.”

In addition to the Restaurant Neighbor Award, El Gaucho Hospitality received a $5,000 check from the NRA; and at 11:30 on Thursday, April 18, El Gaucho will present these winnings to UGM , as a show of its continued commitment to partnering in the mission of bringing hope to the city’s neediest residents.

“El Gaucho Hospitality embodies the spirit of service that we often see within the restaurant industry,” said Anthony Anton, WRA president and CEO. “We are so proud that this team of dedicated women and men has been recognized for the quiet and steady work they are doing to make Seattle a better place.”

The National Restaurant Association developed the Restaurant Neighbor Award to raise awareness about the restaurant industry’s contributions in local communities across the country and to inspire other restaurant operators and owners to make even greater contributions in their communities.

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