When the new-to-town restaurant decided to award him a second free year of food for his dedication, Pekari gave it away, too — this time to the Tracy Boys & Girls Clubs.
“It’s the spirit of what it was all about, make a difference,” Pekari said.
The giveaway was part of a grand opening promotion Aug. 16 by Freebirds. At the opening of each new restaurant, officials give away a year of free burritos to the first 25 customers.
To make sure he was guaranteed to win, the 45-year-old began camping out in front of the restaurant at 1920 11th St. on Aug. 13.
Pekari said his plan was to give the shelter the food, which could feed a family of four several times a year.
Overwhelmed by his generosity, Freebirds Regional Manager Mike Monserret said he decided to give Pekari a second year of free burritos for him and his family.
But on Wednesday, Aug. 22, Pekari talked it over with his family, he said, and they decided to donate the second year of free burritos to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Tracy.
“At first, we were going to keep it on the low key,” he said, not wishing the restaurant to have trouble with its grand-opening regulars, who stake out such promotions in various towns. “I didn’t want to ruin the integrity of the program. I spoke to Mike (Monserret), and he said they would handle it.”
Based on his philosophy to give to others in need, Pekari said he wanted to keep doing good deeds to create a ripple effect that could get more people to pay it forward.
Boys & Girls Clubs Director Kelly Wilson said the club’s leaders were thankful for Pekari’s donation.
“That was very generous of him,” Wilson said. “We’re excited and happy he was willing to share the wealth. That’s a testament to a person’s character.”
Wilson said one of the proposals they were considering for the year of free burritos was to auction it off at an upcoming fundraiser.
“Keep it moving forward,” she said. “I think it’s one of those things — keeps on giving.”