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Ernest Hooper: Phelan and Pinchers give back to teachers

Kathleen Phelan helped her husband, Tony, start Pinchers restaurant while working as a teacher in Collier County.

She spent days at school and nights at the restaurant as a hostess, all while Tony battled cancer, and worked at their first location, a six-table restaurant in a strip mall.

Now the Phelans have multiple restaurant brands and 12 Pinchers locations in eight counties, including Hillsborough and Pasco. But Kathleen Phelan hasn't forgotten her roots — so teachers in all eight counties will receive $25 gift certificates that can be used at any of the restaurants. That's nearly 50,000 teachers, a value of more than $1 million and a gesture worthy of kudos.

A friend recently criticized the media (including me), saying we too often paint teachers as altruistic martyrs. I guess I'm guilty because I'll always champion efforts like the one being delivered by the Phelans. Teachers deserve it. . . .

Seen on a bumper sticker: Vietnam — We Were Winning When I Left. . . .

I again get the privilege of sharing a stage with the inspiring folk artist Ruby C. Williams. Join us at 6 p.m. Thursday at St. Petersburg's Carter G. Woodson Museum, 2240 Ninth Ave. S. . . .

The Rays made an earnest effort to improve the team for a playoff run through trades, but it appears management messed up the mojo. As they struggle to stay in contention, I can't help but wonder what would have happened if Tim Beckham had remained a Ray. . . .

A grade school friend, Michael Safar, says I buried my head in my coat in utter fear during an eclipse in fifth grade. I don't recall that, but I don't deny it. And there's a chance history repeats itself today.

That's all I'm saying.

Ernest Hooper: Phelan and Pinchers give back to teachers 08/21/17 [Last modified: Sunday, August 20, 2017 7:21pm]
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