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Don Leighton poses outside of Grizzly’s with general manager, Sarah Rehnstrand, on Thursday afternoon. (Jed Carlson/jcarlson@superiortelegram.com)

Grizzly's kicks off hunger campaign

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The following is another “Have Fun or Get Out of the Way” column by award-winning Don Leighton and his alter ego, Lance Boyle, which runs occasionally in The Superior Telegram.

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The Super Bowl is this Sunday, Feb. 2. It also happens to be Groundhog Day. Rumor has it, according to crack investigative journalist Tom Hansen, that Punxsutawney Phil, the world’s most famous weather prognosticating rodent, will take the day off and watch football and feast on nuts, berries, bark and special food prepared by his handlers. I spoke with Phil by phone on Wednesday, and he told me something I could not understand. You see, I cannot speak Groundhogese. However, his handlers have assured me that Phil will make his appearance at 7:25 a.m. Eastern Time, 6:25 a.m. our time, and hopefully will not see his shadow. Then he will be taken to a secret location to enjoy the game. We need an early spring up here, and Phil is our best hope. Let’s hope he is on his A game.

Speaking of A games, Grizzly’s in Superior and managing partner Rick Lampton have really hit one out of the park this year. A five-year charter contributor to Hunger Takes No Holiday, Lampton has enlisted the help of the Canal Park and Miller Hill Mall Grizzly locations and the 7 West Taphouse to raise money to help provide thousands of meals to those in our area who are unsure from where their next meal will come. The Taphouse is located at 7 W. Superior St. in Duluth.

During its first four years, Hunger Takes No Holiday raised approximately $75,000, which provided $750,000 worth of food through Second Harvest Food Bank. This equaled 375,000 meals for those in need from Superior and Douglas County. Nine food shelves in Superior and those in Iron River, Poplar and Gordon have all benefited by the generosity of many businesses and individuals.

“People should always have access to food,” Lampton said. “It is impossible to function when you are unsure where your next meal is coming from. We have chosen to help Hunger Takes No Holiday because their relationship with Second Harvest Food Bank allows them to provide five meals for each dollar raised. We are happy and honored to do what we can to help others. Times are tough for many people and it is in everybody’s best interest to help those in need.”

When I asked Lampton what we could do to make Groundhog Day more special, he was quick to respond, “Why don’t we include the Grizzly’s in Duluth and 7 West in this year’s event?”

Here are the Groundhog Day details. The three Grizzly restaurants and 7 West Taphouse will donate 15 percent of their food sales from Sunday’s sales to Hunger Takes No Holiday. Lampton and his employees will “officially” kick off our 2014 campaign to fight hunger. Talk about hitting one out of the park!

Wanting to help the community has always been one of Grizzly’s goals. The business has contributed to various events and benefits throughout the years. The support has amounted to thousands of dollars and has helped improve the lives of countless area residents.

The 7 West Taphouse is quickly gaining recognition as serving one of the best burgers in the area. With all of the great burger establishments in Duluth and Superior, that’s saying quite a bit.

The food at the three Grizzly locations is incredible. Try one of my favorites, the baby back ribs, house sirloin, burger, or fajitas, and of course, the chili. That reminds me: What do South America and Grizzly’s have in common? Chili! Get it, chili? My apologies.

Watch the Super Bowl on one of the restaurants’ gazillion televisions. Groundhog Day, the Super Bowl (Denver 27, Seattle 20), Grizzly’s and 7 West’s are providing an opportunity for community members to have great food and to help others. How much fun can you handle?

So far this year, some early contributors have been my son and daughter, Chris and Alexa, Carla Bergstrom, Mike and Jen West, former Wentworth resident and 1966 Northwestern grad, Gary Christensen, Mike and Deb Lucci, Barb Schiller, Kris Hansen, Brook and Sandra Benes, Superior Rotary Club members that include Warren Bender, Susan Heskin, Patty Pluntz, Jean Till, Charlie Glazman, John Lohse, Kelly Johnson, Bobbi Engstrom Germond, and Jody Forsythe and her DECA classes at Northwestern. Her kids show a maturity and concern for others and realize the importance of helping others. She is a great teacher.

Please help us help others. You can send a contribution of any amount to Hunger Takes No Holiday, PO Box 432, Superior, Wisconsin 54880. Help us make a difference in the lives of others.

Thanks to all the great employees of Grizzly’s and 7 West Taphouse for caring.

Opinions and/or story ideas can be e-mailed to dleigh1273@aol.com.

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