Three weeks ago, John Brichacek, owner of 2 Tall Tavern in Cushing, launched a program he calls “Never Too Much Respect.”
The program’s goal is to raise funds for Motley Police Department, Motley Fire Department, Motley First Response Team, Scandia Valley Fire Department and Scandia Valley First Response Team.
Funds will also be donated to the Morrison County Sheriff’s Office in support of its drug court program .
The program is set up so that cash tickets may be purchased directly at the tavern. The donor indicates on the ticket to which organization, military, fire departments, first response team or law enforcement group, he or she wishes half of the funds to go to.
Any donations that are selected to be given to “other” will go the Motley Food Shelf, John said.
“Things happen. You can take a man worth a million dollars and things can change at the drop of a dime. He may need dinner one night. You can go from the top to the bottom pretty quick,” John said.
The donated tickets are hung up at the 2 Tall Tavern. During the month of September, any past or present service member may grab a ticket and use the other half of the donated funds toward their tab at the tavern. The tickets that are available are limited to one person, per tab and per day.
Each ticket also holds a blank space where the donor can include a special message to the recipient.
John said he is amazed at how well the program has kicked off. Just in the last two weeks, he’s sold more than 300 tickets.
“I’ve had to re-print tickets three times since then,” John said.
The idea for the program started last year when he opened the 2 Tall Tavern. It rarely ever failed. Whenever the clock would strike 9:11, whether morning or evening, he happened to look at his cellphone.
“I kept seeing the number 911. It started to get to me, so I decided to turn something negative into something positive,” John said.
To John, there can never be too much respect shown to those who daily put their lives on the line.
“I wanted to get all the service members and the people in the area together to show that there are people that are there for them, just as much as they are there for us,” John said.
John wanted the money to stay in Morrison County and be used for the local service personnel. He’s also hoping the program will inspire others to show their support.
“I don’t think people realize what happens behind the scenes. Many times what happened on the job is something they take home with them and it affects their family, too. This is a way we can support them and show that we’re here for them,” John said.
John also knows firsthand the difference service men and women make in the communities. His sister, Mary, is currently a part of the drug court program and he attributes much of her success in staying clean to two individuals with the program, Shane and Breanna.
“It changed my life,” Mary said.
A silent auction will be held Sept. 8-11 at the 2 Tall Tavern as part of the program.
Those who want to contribute to the “Never Too Much Respect” program may purchase cash tickets or drop off donations at the 2 Tall Tavern at 31723 Azure Rd. in Cushing.