Free Christmas Day buffet benefits free clinicWest Wind owner Kevin Pechacek is often asked: Why aren’t you ever open on Christmas, Kevin?
By: Phil Pfuehler, River Falls Journal
West Wind owner Kevin Pechacek is often asked: Why aren’t you ever open on Christmas, Kevin?
That’s also the only day of the entire year his North Main Street restaurant is closed -- and has been for 31 years.
Until this year.
Pechacek will open the West Wind doors Christmas day, Dec. 25, from 8:30 a.m. to noon to host a “free community buffet.”
“I’ve worked hard, had a pretty good life and I feel blessed businesswise,” he said. “I’m not ringing a dime at the cash register for this. It’s a way I can give back. Sometimes you’ve got to do things like that.”
Pechacek said the free breakfast is meant to attract those who might be alone on Christmas, or who may need a nourishing meal.
And, just as important, those who show up are urged to give a donation to the River Falls-based Free Clinic of Pierce & St. Croix Counties.
“This is better than me just cutting a check,” Pechacek said. “Through our buffet, I hope we can raise some money for the free clinic to support all it does, plus provide food and companionship for the community on Christmas morning.
“People don’t have to cook. They can also work around their church schedules to find a convenient time in the morning to drop in.”
Julie Gore, free clinic fund development coordinator, expressed gratitude.
“I’m amazed over and over at the overwhelming support the free clinic has received in so many ways,” she said. “Kevin’s idea of the free Christmas breakfast and the free-will offering is just one more reason we are thankful to live in a community that contributes and cares.
“I hope this generous offer brings out the caring spirit in all of us even more.”
Pechacek’s had several of his employees approach him to volunteer their help to put on the Christmas buffet.
The buffet will include egg dishes, pancakes, potatoes, ham, sausage links, cinnamon rolls, fresh fruit, coffee and juice. The bar will not be open.
“This is a great opportunity to enjoy a meal with family and friends and do something to help our clinic,” Pechacek said.
Besides some employees, Pechacek said a few citizens and free clinic volunteers will also help put out food, clear plates and wash dishes for the Christmas morning buffet.
“I don’t know what to expect, whether we’ll have 50 people or 500 show up” he said. “But I’m hoping we can raise at least $1,000 for the free clinic.”