by Neena Strichart
Many of us enjoy a night on the town– especially if it involves some kind of dining experience along with entertainment. Others of us prefer to spend our time going to charity events in order to feel that we are sharing our good fortunes with those in need, or being benevolent just trying to earn our wings on the other side. Tuesday evening, March 11, Steve and I had the time to cover all those bases by attending the official grand opening of Atun Restaurant located at 4262 Atlantic Avenue in Bixby Knolls.
As part of the celebration, Atun’s owner Tom Hsu made arrangements for Miller Children’s Hospital to be focus of the event. Besides diners receiving a hefty discount on March 11, 12 and 13, (24 percent in honor of the 24 patient beds in the pediatric hematology/oncology unit at the Jonathan Jacques Children’s Cancer Center), Tom donated all dessert proceeds for those three days to Miller Children’s Hospital. Those of us who were there for the ribbon-cutting on Tuesday evening were also favored with rice wine in a box during a very lovely sake ceremony. Of course, the rice wine was only available to those of legal drinking age. Unfortunately, I look every bit of my nearly 59 years, so I was not carded.
Not wanting to miss out on any of the fun, my hubby Steve donned one of the ceremonial robes and helped serve the sake. He’s usually a pretty helpful fellow, but I think he was feeling especially festive since he knew that he would be turning another year older the next day. I blame his enthusiasm on pre-birthday excitement combined with his overwhelming love of sushi.
When diners were presented with their bills, they were also given donation envelopes addressed to Miller Children’s Hospital. I am sure many of those attending were quick to add a bit of folding money to such a worthy cause.
We had a wonderful meal and enjoyed seeing so many friends and acquaintances at the surrounding tables. It was also very nice meeting Micaela, one of the patients from Miller Children’s Hospital. She joined the owners Tom and Fawnia in the ribbon-cutting part of the festivities. Also on hand was Mille, the Miller Children’s mascot (a very large plush dolphin).
All in all, I must say that I find it refreshing to see a business owner giving back to the community so early in his tenure. The Signal Tribune offers a big kudos to Tom and his lovely fiancée Fawnia Aragon for their generosity.