BUNNY IN THE CITY: Step One Automotive Group offers free lunch for military, medical workers, first responders – Entertainment & Life – Savannah Morning News
Step One Automotive Group’s Abercorn location hosted Grab-n-Go meals for military, medical workers and first responders on Thursday.
When Step One Marketing Manager Maja Ciric told me that she was hosting free meals for our local heroes, I psyched myself up to beat the heat and headed up Abercorn for a Jamaican treat courtesy of Sweet Spice.
Of course I should have known that 97 year old World War II veteran Paul Grassey would arrive before me! The loquacious veteran tells Maja about his time as a B24 pilot, that we can find his book “It’s Character that Counts” at the Mighty Eighth Air Force Museum gift shop, and that he was 90 years old when he wrote it.
Arriving next, I congratulate MiQuan Green on seeing his upcoming virtual event on the large electronic billboard across from his office on Montgomery Crossroads and ask what “Maximize the Moment” is. “I am live-streaming an hour of inspiration with four national entrepreneurs to inspire and motivate business owners during COVID-19,” shares the 19-year media production owner.
I posed MiQuan with his public relations manager, Ja’Quan Oliver, and Savannah Police Department Community Service Officer Nayirah Williams. I head back over to thank American Legion Post 135’s Jim Vejar, a retired colonel in the special forces, and 2nd Junior Vice Commander Jennifer Fortenberry for attending today.
I wave over Post 500 Commander James Putney for an introduction to the “Queen of Pooler” Tara Reese, her princess daughter Katherine Mann and their four-legged child Mimi. Promising to see the Gaelic Athletic Association co-founder Thursday night at Forsyth Park just so I can hear the colorful language of Irish athletes, I head over to meet some Savannah Fire Department heroes.
Capt. Jonathan Sturgis tells me, “We found a distressed mockingbird being dive-bombed, gathered him up with our gloved hands and took him to (Wild) Birds Unlimited.” What the captain failed to tell me was he along with Advanced Firefighters Andrew Stevenson and Logan Gutierrez and Station 2 Truck 2B were dispatched to an unresponsive child, performed CPR and had a pulse before EMS arrived!
After proudly sharing this story with me, much deserving and recently appointed Assistant Chief Elzie Kitchen and I listen to Chief Derik Minard and Assistant Chief William Handy congratulate the trio on their valiant efforts.
Offering to host any and all first responders at her resort style pool, I leave Grand Lake Club General Manager Tara O’Sullivan to head over to welcome Savannah’s favorite son, past St. Patrick’s Day Parade grand marshal and former Marine Jimmy Ray. Looking tan and refreshed from a recent beach trip, Jimmy sneaks up to surprise Paul, who is busy regaling new friends Amy Headrick and Maureen McDermott.
Knowing Amy for the past two decades, I am proud to tell y’all about Fight the War Within Foundation, a local nonprofit acting as mental health advocates that provide resources for teens, veterans and first responders. Amy and fellow board member, Maureen tell me about hosting the Marquez family this weekend, “Marcelino Marquez, a 27-year Marine veteran got out of the military, had periods of depression and was selected for ‘Military Makeover with Montel Williams.’ We decided to offer a weekend getaway here in Savannah for him and his family — hotel, Kelly Tours and a family dinner, a group walk at JF Gregory in Richmond Hill, then ending with an event at Flag Corps Aviation on Sunday.”
Leaving the ladies in good hands with Paul, I see former Marine and 2 Chefs Southern Kitchen’s Curtis Washington walk up to place an order of jerk chicken from fellow veteran and Sweet Spice owner Donovan Smith. Taking a seat with me and Maja, I wait for him to taste-test, then ask him to rank the meal. I am always curious of a chef’s opinion on another chef’s food and grin when he gives a 9 out of 10 on the Jamaican cuisine.
Stoked to hear about Curtis and his wife Taylor’s new business venture, Kings of Queens, we talk about the two venue spaces opening early September at Piccadilly Square on Television Circle, then listen to Maja explain how much today means to her and her Step One family.
“Today was all about positive vibes, appreciation for our selfless men and women who served tirelessly and from all the positive feedback we are getting, I know that they feel appreciated. It makes me feel good,” she says.
Amen to that! Wiped out from the heat, I grab some curried chicken and leave proud of Step One for feeding our local heroes and simply proud to be an American!
During these events, when people are wearing face masks, I suggest they remove the mask, I quickly take the photo, and they put the face mask back on.
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