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D.T. Grinders receives national award

By Staff
Special to The Star
Nov. 28, 2001
When LOVE's Kitchen was low on funds four years ago and director Ruthie Erwin didn't know where to turn, the owner of a popular local restaurant offered his help.
Monte Earlywine, owner of DT Grinders Restaurant &Pub, and Edward Robinson, co-owner, decided to help the charitable organization that provides meals for the needy.
For that effort and continuing participation in charitable events, Earlywine and DT Grinders have been awarded the prestigious Restaurant Neighbor Award by the National Restaurant Association.
Only 80 restaurants nationwide were selected in this year's competition.
Earlywine said the plight of LOVE's Kitchen, an acronym for Lauderdale Outreach Volunteer Effort, left him concerned.
He agreed to host a fund-raiser at DT Grinders. He brainstormed with Erwin and several other community residents searching for ideas that might turn the event into a success.
Radio station B-93 got involved, turning the fund-raiser into part of the "Bud Light Concert Series." Encouraged by Earlywine, eight more restaurateurs agreed to help out with a special VIP tent; tickets sold for up to $20, with all the money going to LOVE's Kitchen.
The event raised more than $6,000.
Earlywine continues to support LOVE's Kitchen today, making donations of food and helping when needed. He also makes donations to such groups as the Mississippi Ballet, the Arts in the Park Festival and United Way.
As president of the Meridian chapter of the Mississippi Restaurant Association, he also has been a leader in the annual Bonita Lakes Classic, which raises money for charity.