Cedar Park Dig Pub pays it forward


by TERRI GRUCA / KVUE News and Photojournalist J.P. HARRINGTON

Bio | Email | Follow: @TerriG_KVUE


Posted on December 16, 2013 at 11:22 PM

Updated Tuesday, Dec 17 at 4:49 PM

CEDAR PARK, Texas -- This is the time of year when most people are also searching for ways to give back. For years a local bartender has found a unique way to make dozens of families’ wishes come true, and this year he found that paying it forward came full circle.

Beer isn't the only thing flowing at the Dig Pub in Cedar Park; so is the holiday cheer.

"We're going to leave a nice healthy tip," said customer Bill Evans.

On Monday night, Santa had more than one helper.

"Much busier than our normal Mondays," said bartender Ben Kazda.

Kazda started it all. He wanted to find a way to give back, so he picked one night to donate his tips.

"I've done this for the last six years, and this year it's kind of a snowball effect, and we've got a huge crowd out tonight," he said.

This year it's multiplied in ways he never imagined.

"One hundred percent of his tips go to the Austin Women and Children's Shelter (which is operated by the Salvation Army). The servers are all donating theirs too, and the pub is donating 15 percent of its sales as well," said Dig Pub co-owner Christy Wink.

"It's going towards kids that need it more than I do,” said server Brittney Scott. “That's all that matters to me."

Word of this pub's generosity spread so quickly that the regulars could barely find a seat.

"I was lucky to get a parking spot," said customer Rhonda Evans.

The original goal of helping 14 kids will be easily met, but what's most impressive is how many people have decided to pay it forward.

"It makes it much more enjoyable to come to work every day when you've got people like this working with you," said Wink.

It's proof that the giving spirit thrives in Central Texas.

"It's fantastic!" said Wink.

The Dig Pub's night ended with a $3,769 donation to the Salvation Army's Women and Children's Shelter. That's significantly greater than the pub's 2012 donation of about $800.