Saturday, The Great Plate Bar & Grill in Tracy offered a free spaghetti lunch to families that included children with special needs.
“We want to be a part of the community that helps others. We want to do something special for the kids, we are about family too.” General Manager Gerardo Suarez said.
Iwa Perez, marketing director for The Great Plate contacted Case For Kids — a non-profit agency benefitting foster children — to invite all of the children participating in the Crowns and Cases Special Needs Pageant to attend a fun Easter event. The Crowns and Cases pageant is May 3 at 6 p.m. at the Grand Theatre Center for the Arts, 715 Central Ave, and features all contestants with special needs.
Perez also reached out to BNI Tracy Givers, a local group of business owners, who donated all of the baskets filled with goodies for the kids. The Great Plate provided the food and a special Easter bunny photo experience.
The Miss San Joaquin County Organization also had their titleholders — including Emily McNiel, Miss Sunrise Seaport 2014 — on hand to help serve food, visit with children, and pass out baskets.
“These kids are great,” McNiel, who will compete in the Miss California pageant in June, said. “We have been working with them for our upcoming Special Needs pageant and they have truly embraced the activities we do just to include them. The parents have been so grateful and excited that the community businesses have been so giving to their children.”
The restaurant pledged to continue to support community causes.
“It’s not going to stop here,” Perez said. “This is just the beginning of how we want to stay a part of this community. But today was definitely worth every smile.”
• Lori Souza is the founder of Case for Kids and a Tracy native.