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May 5, 2017

Students say 'Thanks'

Open letter to Gary and Heather Parrett,

Thank you. Thank you for being such caring and outstanding members of our community. My name is Karen Koday and I teach students with special needs at Columbia City High School. Our students are lucky enough to spend some of their time in the community learning skills that help them be independent and contributing members of society. We visit stores, restaurants, and community facilities to generalize the skills the students learn in the classroom.  In the past two months, my classroom has visited both of your restaurants, Bg G's and Downtown on the Square. On both of those occasions, you were so gracious as to allow us to eat for free. That was not something that we anticipated at all and we are so grateful. At Big G's, you allowed us to take the entire back room which was especially helpful with some of our students with autism. Crowded places can be difficult for them. Your staff was gracious, friendly, and very accommodating to our needs. The food was also delicious. Then at Downtown on the Square we were treated to a fine dining experience that most of the students don't often get to have. Again, your waitstaff was extremely accommodating, welcoming, and kind to all of us. The food was also outstanding.

We are overwhelmed at your kindness and generosity. With the money that we saved, we would like to pay that forward and give back to the community. We have contacted a couple of local agencies to see how we can be of service. I know that the students and the staff were all moved by your act of  kindness and will benefit from the charity that they will bestow on others. My hope is for this cycle of giving to continue throughout their lives.

You are a blessing to this community.

Thank you so much.

Karen Koday

Functional Life Skills Teacher

Columbia City High School