Kim Brumfield, Community Awareness Coordinator for the Betty Griffin House in St. Johns County, announced to local reporters with Historic City News that they will be a beneficiary of the Columbia Restaurant and Columbia Cafe during the “Community Harvest” during the entire month of September.
The Columbia donates 5% of all guests’ lunch and dinner checks to the charitable organizations chosen by their customers during the month of September. The Community Harvest takes place at the Columbia Restaurant, 98 St. George St., St. Augustine which is open 7-days a week for lunch and dinner.
“We hit a milestone last year with our Community Harvest donations, we have now given over one million dollars in the past twelve years to more than 100 local non-profit groups in the six communities that our locations serve, and we hope that 2010 will be a record year for donations that we will give back to the many organizations who are facing cutbacks due to the economy,” said Richard Gonzmart, 4th generation family member and president of the Columbia Restaurant.”
“We started this program in 1998 as a way of contributing too many of the worthy non-profit groups that are so important to our communities,” noted Richard Gonzmart. “We thought the best way to do this was by letting our customers get involved in selecting the organizations. The process is simple. They just put a check mark next to the name of one of the charitable organizations listed on the form we provide to them, or they can write in the name of their favorite charity, and turn it in to their server. We do the rest,” explained Gonzmart.
The original Columbia Restaurant was founded in 1905 in Ybor City and is Florida’s oldest restaurant. Locations include the flagship restaurant in Tampa’s historic Ybor City, St. Armands Circle in Sarasota, the historic district in St. Augustine, The Pier in St. Petersburg, Sand Key in Clearwater Beach, Central Florida’s town of Celebration, and the Columbia Café on the Riverwalk in Downtown Tampa. All Columbia Restaurants are owned and operated by the Gonzmart family, fourth and fifth generation members of the founding family.