Dine at Columbia Restaurant in downtown Celebration through the month of September, and a portion of your bill will go to help the area’s homeless or those living in the west U.S. 192 hotels.

It’s part of the Columbia family of restaurants’ 22nd annual Community Harvest. Columbia, which also features six other locations in Tampa, Sarasota, Clearwater and St. Augustine, annually partners with local groups or charities to raise funds.

Locally at the Celebration location, which is open seven days a week for lunch and dinner, diners can request a ballot from their server and check off the Community Hope Center, and 5 percent of their bill will be donated to the CHC.

The donation is from Columbia Restaurant — the guest does not spend any additional money for this donation.

Columbia is family owned – president Richard Gonzmart is a fourth generation family member – so it’s a case of families helping families.

We started this program in 1998 as a way to help many of the worthy non-profit groups that are so important to our communities,” said fourth generation family member and president Richard Gonzmart. “We thought the best way to do this was by letting our customers get involved in selecting the organizations.”

Richard Gonzmart

President and 4th Generation Family Member, Columbia Restaurant

Over the past 21 years, the Columbia Restaurant Community Harvest has donated more than $2.4 million to non-profit local organizations throughout Florida.

The Community Hope Center’s mission is to impact the low-income, poverty level  families and individuals living in and around Osceola County.

This program helps to restore dignity and self-sufficiency to those in need in our community through a holistic approach to case management, funds assistance, and life skills. The mission of the Community Hope Center is to provide assistance to all of those in need in our community.

The primary emphasis is to serve those living homeless or in motels and hotels along Osceola County’s 192 corridor. For example, years ago the CHC was involved with turning an old 192 hotel into a smaller number of low-income apartments, a more long-term solution to what is often an a short-term problem that low-income families can’t overcome of coming up with all the securities deposits of a traditional apartment all at once.

“We are excited to be one of the beneficiaries again this year of the Columbia Community Harvest in September,” said the Rev. Mary Downey, CEO, Community Hope Center. “We are grateful to partner with such a great organization as the Columbia Restaurant to help our families in-need here in Osceola County.”

Mary Downey

CEO, Community Hope Center