Smith & Wollensky Restaurant Group celebrated the 2010 holiday season with appreciation dinners for more than 150 members of the armed services, their families and friends. At eight locations nationwide, Smith & Wollensky welcomed service members and families returning from or facing immediate deployment, Wounded Warriors and family readiness volunteers, many with family members currently deployed overseas.
“To everyone who has made our steakhouse a home, we’re giving back this holiday season with an event for those whom it is our rare honor to serve,” said Michael Feighery, president of the Smith &Wollensky Restaurant Group, in his original program announcement. “We give thanks for all of our guests, but in particular, the brave men and women who serve our country.”
Military families who attended a dinner were treated to a leisurely meal that allowed service members time to reconnect with spouses, children and other family members while on leave from their deployments.Visits included a private tour of the restaurant and the opportunity to meet the chef and staff who prepared their meals.
The responses of the military guests nationwide were enthusiastic and heartfelt. “So few people and companies realize how much and how far these acts of kindness go. It is the reason we can endure multiple deployments… with a smile on our face. Thank you for recognizing our service,” said Aaron Gerencser of Columbus, Ohio, a member of the National Guard who recently served in Baghdad, Iraq.
“I would just like to thank you again for the spectacular time that you showed our soldiers and their families on Monday. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed themselves and we were overwhelmed by the thoughtfulness of Smith &Wollensky and its staff. The dinner was scrumptious and the tour was an added bonus to an already perfect evening,” said Jamie Lee Moushigian, Yankee Brigade, Boston.
“Thank you so much for your outstanding support and excellent service to the troops of Illinois Army National Guard, especially the Wounded Warriors. They really appreciated your personal care and special attention! …They really enjoyed the excellent service and special tour, even stopping by to meet the chef! Your staff was very attentive… It was definitely a memorable experience!” said Chaplain Jenny Nielsen, Illinois Army and Air National Guard, remarking on the dinner held in Chicago.