On any given day at the restaurant you will find
local folks stopping in for breakfast, lunch or dinner, and it is no
wonder when you see and taste the food at the restaurant. The
restaurant itself has a friendly, homey feel and it is enjoyable to
see diners hollering across the room to one another as someone comes
in the front door.
While that is a wonderful testament to the popularity of the
restaurant, it is the people behind that great food and great
service who are making a difference in their community.
Make no mistake, for a small business in a small town to survive, it
takes a lot of hard work and careful planning. For the owner of that
same business to literally give away a portion of his profits, not
just on occasion, but on a regular basis, is a much bigger sacrifice
than we can imagine.
Nonetheless, that is exactly what Nick does, multiple times a year.
Throughout the calendar year he hosts day-long fundraisers for
different groups and organizations. His generosity has assisted so
many people over the years that it is hard to pin down just how big
an impact he has had on his community.
We counted up just what we know from the last year or so, and Nick
has hosted fundraisers for the Olympia School District, at least
three Relay for Life teams, a couple of local veterans organizations
and more. He also hosted a fundraiser for Cody Conrady to assist
that young man in paying his health costs after a serious farm
accident last year. And, when Atlanta resident Tom Langley lost his
home to a fire, Nick was among the first to host a fundraiser to
help Tom recover from his losses. Nick and his staff also
participated in the Lincoln Daily News Pink Challenge in October,
raising money for Breast Cancer Awareness.
As LDN prepared to deliver the February Community
Champion to Nick, we paid a visit on the sly to the restaurant and
talked to some of his staff. What we heard was that not only is Nick
generous in the community, he is generous and caring toward his
staff and treats them like family and with great respect.
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He and wife Lumi are well thought of by their staff
and the staff was excited to hear that he would be recognized by LDN.
On Wednesday, as LDN’s Karen Hargis told Nick he was
the Champion of the Month he was very humbled. Smiling and offering
Hargis a big hug as he said, “you just made my day.”
Talking to Nick, LDN shared some of the things the staff had said
about him and Lumi, and he once again, very humbly noted, “They are
our family, and we do care about them a lot.”
To find an employer who feels that way about staff is becoming
increasingly rare in this day and age, but in small town communities
like Atlanta, it is what gives heart, and in this case, keeps
bringing people back for those terrific meals. Having a business in
the community that cares for the staff, the people, and the
community is a wonderful asset to Atlanta, and that is what makes
Nick Bekteshi the February Community Champion.