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'The biggest gift I've ever gotten': Restaurant owner gets a hand after helping so many others

The owner of Beavercreek Saloon got a big hand from a business that just wanted to help a stranger. The restaurant owner knows exactly what that feels like.

BEAVERCREEK, Ore. — If you've passed through Beavercreek, you might've eaten at the Beavercreek Saloon. If you live in Beavercreek, well, you already know what that place means to a lot of folks. Mostly because of one of its owners, Patrick Whitmore.

“We play bingo every other Sunday and the money goes to somebody that needs some help,” said Whitmore. “Whether it’s buying more hay for horses or helping someone get through cancer.”

Creating that tradition was just one thing Whitmore has done to give back. When schools closed because of COVID-19, the restaurant and community teamed up to feed kids lunch. Around that time, a string of misfortunes hit Whitmore.

“The restaurant got shut down on the 16th of March, that was my birthday," said Whitmore. "Then two days after that, we got burglarized. They got into our pantry, got a lot of our steaks and hamburger. Two days later they came back again after we got it all put back and stole it again.”

Recently, a friend of Whitmore got a call from Steve McInnis, president of River City Environmental. McInnis was looking for someone to help out at no charge. That friend recommended Whitmore.

“They said [Whitmore] could sure use a hand,” recalled McInnis. “And I said ‘Hey, let's dress up the parking lot, let's pass something forward here and give them a hand.’”

McInnis’ crew scrubbed Whitmore's parking lot clean, sealed and re-striped it; a full day’s work for a crew that’s also lost business because of the pandemic.

“It was unbelievable,” said Whitmore. “Probably the biggest gift I've ever gotten… it's just a wonderful thing and it looks beautiful.”

Restaurant staff fed McInnis’ crew French dip sandwiches for lunch.

“He took care of them,” said McInnis, who was happy they could help.

“I think we all have something we can give to help somebody out,” said McInnis.

Whitmore expressed his gratitude for the kindness.

“It's paying it forward and I think that's a wonderful thing,” he said. “Now maybe we can pay it forward too.”

To be clear, Whitmore has already done plenty. In 2018 during the California wildfires, Whitmore and his partner, Barb, donated their RV to a single mother who’d lost her home in the Camp Fire. They drove the RV—which community members loaded full of donations—eight hours south to Paradise, California.

“I'm just so grateful,” said RV recipient, Veronica Jawar, at the time. “He's got the biggest heart of anybody I've ever met and I will strive to have a heart like him.”

So, yes. It was Whitmore’s turn to receive a hand up.

“Being shut down, being [burglarized], that was a bad deal,” said Whitmore before smiling. “Now, looking out at that parking lot makes it all better.”

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