CSU, Chico News

Fundraiser Renews ‘We Are Chico’ Spirit

Date: 05-11-2011

Joe Wills
Public Affairs

A local restaurant is paying back the kindness shown to its employees following a major fire with the first of what could be several fundraisers supporting the community.

Starting tomorrow, May 12, at 11:30 a.m. through midnight on May 14, Tres Hombres restaurant is hosting a fundraiser to benefit the Enloe Regional Cancer Center.

During “Tres Days,” the restaurant will be selling limited edition T-shirts and donating some proceeds in the hopes of raising $5,000 to $6,000 for the cancer center.

Following the 2009 fire that closed Tres Hombres and Mr. Pickles restaurants, which share the same building, a California State University, Chico-based group called We Are Chico formed to provide funds and assistance for out-of-work employees.

By early 2010, the group, which was led by CSU, Chico students, had raised about $15,000 in donations, gift cards and coupons for the 82 employees at the two restaurants.

“It was inspirational to watch the students put something together like that in such a short amount of time, and make a difference in more than 80 people’s lives,” said Michael Thomas, owner of Tres Hombres. “It was really something special, and it meant a lot to me personally. I’ve been here 23 years, and Chico was starting to get big, where I didn’t know everybody. But in a short time, Chico got small again—people were walking up to me and saying, ‘What can I do?’”

Thomas said he told Larry Bassow, CSU, Chico Greek adviser and an organizer of We Are Chico, that once the restaurant was open again he wanted to return the kindness shown to him and his restaurant.

The choice of the Enloe Cancer Center as the first fundraising recipient has special meaning for Thomas and Bassow. Bassow recently underwent successful surgery for cancer, and he asked Thomas if they could raise funds for the cancer center. “I thought it was a great idea,” Thomas said, adding how appreciative he was for Bassow’s enthusiasm for supporting his business and the “We Are Chico” spirit of giving.

Thomas said he’d like to possibly do four “Tres Days” fundraisers a year for community organizations. “I would like the money to go somewhere where $5,000 is a big deal,” he said. He also hopes that the fundraisers will have an impact on his employees. “I have a lot of young people who work for me,” he said. “In doing this, I hope it’s a little inspiring for them, too, and the fundraisers will then have an even wider effect.”

Tres Hombres, located at First Street and Broadway in Chico, has been open since 1988. The Enloe Regional Cancer Center, part of Enloe Medical Center, is a local non-profit organization that has served the Chico area since 1913.

For more information about Tres Days, call Tres Hombres at 342-0425. For more information about the Enloe Regional Cancer Center, please call the Enloe Cancer Access Line at 332-3808.