Moffat County clerk and recorder Elaine Sullivan takes the lunch orders of Kelly and Mike Nottingham on Friday afternoon at the Golden Cavvy, 538 Yampa Ave. Sullivan and numerous other volunteers waited tables at the restaurant as part of a fundraiser for Christmas for Kids.

Photo by Andy Bockelman

Moffat County clerk and recorder Elaine Sullivan takes the lunch orders of Kelly and Mike Nottingham on Friday afternoon at the Golden Cavvy, 538 Yampa Ave. Sullivan and numerous other volunteers waited tables at the restaurant as part of a fundraiser for Christmas for Kids.

Golden Cavvy fundraiser in Craig sees sizable turnout

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Golden Cavvy owner Charlotte Gariner displays the yuletide themed box for donations to Christmas for Kids atop her front counter at the restaurant. The Golden Cavvy hosted an all-day fundraiser Friday to benefit Christmas for Kids, with more than 40 local people volunteering their time to help bring in tips and donations.

For Moffat County clerk and recorder Elaine Sullivan, a day’s work does not usually consist of carrying soft drinks and plates of hamburgers and fries.

But, in between taking orders, refilling drinks and making her way to the kitchen and back Friday afternoon, Sullivan found time to get to the front of the Golden Cavvy to complete the most important task of all.

Ringing a bell.

The bell was an indicator that a donation had been made to Christmas for Kids, the Craig-based holiday charity which the Cavvy was promoting.

The restaurant hosted a fundraiser Friday both to benefit Christmas for Kids and to celebrate the one-year anniversary of new ownership under Cavvy proprietor Charlotte Gariner.

More than 40 local personalities, including Wyman Museum owner Lou Wyman, veterinarian Neil McCandless and Craig Police Chief Walt Vanatta, were on hand to wait tables throughout the day, along with the Cavvy’s usual crew, with their tips going straight to the collection box at the front counter.

Christmas for Kids provides toys to underprivileged children in the community.

Sullivan said customers were generous with the gratuities.

“The average donation has been about $20,” Sullivan said. “This was a really great idea.”

Gariner said she would not know the total tally of the day’s donations until she counts it today, but she estimated that she had doubled her $500 goal by mid-day Friday.

“We’re pushing about $1,000,” Gariner said early Friday afternoon. “It’s been busy, busy all day, and these servers are all doing really good work.”

Sullivan, who worked two one-hour shifts starting at noon, said she had never worked in the restaurant business.

“I’ve cleaned motel rooms, but I’ve never waited on people,” she said. “It’s fun, and I haven’t dropped anything, haven’t spilled anything, yet.”

One of Sullivan’s customers was Rod Kowach, who ate with his wife, Karen, and daughter Mariah.

“She’s not too bad, for a rookie,” he said. “I tipped about double what I normally do. It’s a good cause, and it’s real busy because there are so many people who enjoy the good food and want to support the town’s kids.”

Before they ordered Friday, Sue and Tom Jones knew how much they were going to donate.

“It doesn’t matter what we get to eat, we’ll give $10 or $15, at least,” Tom said.

Sue added that she and Tom wanted to promote Christmas for Kids because it’s a local organization.

“We believe in giving money in the community,” she said.

Gariner said she had seen at least twice the normal amount of patrons filtering in throughout the day, even with hunting season customers. The special deals, such as an all-you-can-eat fish fry, also helped the cause.

“This has turned out really good,” she said. “I just hope all the kids have a good Christmas.”

Sullivan said though she and other volunteers were the center of attention during the day, the Cavvy’s regular team deserved just as much acknowledgement.

“The staff here is awesome,” Sullivan said.

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