Unsung Hero: La Fiesta Staff


By Ashley Smith
By Josue

WEST FRANKFORT --  The Taste of Hope event for Relay for Life in Franklin County was a huge success, not only because of diners, but also because of the staff of one restaurant.

Twenty percent of all sales at La Fiesta Restaurant in West Frankfort were donated to the Relay for Life of Franklin County. That wasn't the only way to help the American Cancer Society.

"Just getting the people involved was just the best thing, it was beautiful actually," said Event Chair Jaime Pearson.
"His [Carlos] enthusiasm and the fact that he got the boxing gloves. He had purple boxing gloves, and he asked people to wear them, and he donated based on the fact that people would wear them," said Taste of Hope Chair Theresa Bates.
The generosity of Carlos' staff didn't stop there. The entire wait staff donated all of their tips to the American Cancer Society.
"They were happy to do it," explained Manager Carlos Hernandez. "Some of them have family members who died from cancer so it was such a relief for them to help somebody else."
Theresa and Jaime have both lost family members to cancer and say the excitement of those wanting to help is very healing.
This is one of the biggest fundraisers for Relay for Life in Franklin County. 
Each Taste of Hope night is a big help, but they say they were touched by the extra effort La Fiesta put forth.
"He did the boxing gloves and that kind of stuff that we would have never thought of, which it really made that night that much better," said Jaime.
Carlos has already scheduled another Taste of Hope Event later in the year. He says he looks forward to helping those who support his business each day.
"It's our appreciation for supporting our business for almost 17 years now, and I think it's only fair to give back to the community," said Carlos.
The next Taste of Hope event will be from 5 p.m. - 9 p.m. April 8 at Applebee's in Benton. La Fiesta in Benton will also host a Taste of Hope event on May 13 from 5 p.m. - 9 p.m.
The Franklin County Relay for Life will be held in June.
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