LS Firefighters earn tips for kidsBY PAM STEVENS | EDITOR Ixtapa Restaurant was crazy with people waiting for tables last Saturday night as they hosted the fourth annual Tips for Firefighters at their Lake Stevens location.
Local firefighters showed up to serve customers, bus tables and earn some extra cash to provide local children with a Christmas to remember.
“I’m here to support the firefighters and be involved in the community,” Fire Chief Gary Faucett said. “I like meeting the people and even singing to them.”
Chief Faucett took a moment to serenade incoming Fire Commissioner Vern Foster and his family with a heartfelt round of “White Christmas”. Between that and the snow falling outside it truly gave everyone a holiday spirit boost.
Four years ago local firefighter Pat Cook approached Ixtapa and asked them if they were interested in helping the firefighters earn money for local children. Francisco Barajas, Ixtapa’s owner was thrilled to be asked to be a part of it.
“They came to me and asked me and I thought it was a great idea for the kids of my community,” he said.
“It’s a little thing that we can do to give back to the community,” Eddie Barajas added.
Over the past three years Lake Stevens Fire has raised over $8,000 and helped provide Christmas for over 200 children.
None of this could be possible though, without the help of the community.
“It’s been well received by the community,” Cook said. “It’s one way for us to give back to a community that’s given so much for us.”
Cook grew up in “the projects” in Everett and knows what it’s like to have a mother struggling to provide Christmas for four children. He is worried that with gas prices so high and the mortgage situation there will be more kids in greater need this year.
“If we can make a difference in just one child’s life, it’s all worth it,” he said.
This year’s event raised over $3,550.
The first year they raised a little over a thousand dollars which gave $50 to each child they were helping.
In their second year they raised more than $2,500 and were able to spend $75 per child.
Last year they were able to raise well over $4,000 giving each child $75 worth of gifts and a $25 gift card they could use for clothes or other essentials.
The firefighters work with the Lake Stevens Family Center who provides them wish lists of local children.Ixtapa hosts annual event