When communities work together powerful partnerships are formed. When those partnerships are driven by passionate leaders, ideas move quickly from concept to reality. This week, another dynamic partnership was formed when Hamilton’s tex-mex restaurant, 8 Fresh, joined forces with the Hamilton Area Community Coalition and Hamilton Police Department.
While on patrol, Officer Michael Mordus, Jr, had noticed 8 Fresh using cardboard beer cartons to hold silverware and sauces on each table, including the tables on the sidewalk outside the restaurant. Always on the lookout for ways to better protect our community, he had the idea to reduce alcohol advertising in places our kids hang out. He worked with Hamilton Coalition leader, Melissa Cassulis, to order permanent silverware caddies to offer 8 Fresh instead.
When presented with the opportunity, 8 Fresh owner, Sam Constantino, jumped at the chance to swap the tabletop beer packaging for the new silverware caddies provided by the Hamilton Coalition. “This is exactly something we’re interested in being part of,” says Constantino. “This is hugely important to me right now, and I’m excited to join the Hamilton Coalition and make 8 Fresh a lively space where local teens can hang out safely.”
To that end, what started as a simple chat about reducing alcohol marketing in our community, turned into plans to turn the new arcade game room behind the restaurant into an attractive after-school and nighttime hang out for our middle and high schoolers. “This is what our teens have been asking for, a safe, fun place to hang out with their friends. We’re thrilled at the commitment and vision 8 Fresh has to make this happen. By promoting an existing space, we create a sustainable activity we can build from in the years to come,” says Cassulis.
8 Fresh and the game room space is currently open 11am-9pm, and features arcade games, electronic darts, couches and table space for board games. For a menu or more details visit Facebook.com/8FreshHamilton. To learn more about the work of the Hamilton Coalition, visit hamiltoncoalition.com.