Rifle Range Instructors Target Resources to Help Louisiana Restaurant Survive Pandemic

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May 14, 2020

Region VI - South Central Region News

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Amanda Savona and Clare Reding

Clare Reding and Amanda Savona

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Rifle Range Instructors Target Resources to Help Louisiana Restaurant

Regional Administrator Justin Crossie

By Regional Administrator Justin Crossie

Amid dark situations, there are always glimmers of light.

I found one in Louisiana after speaking with Clare Reding and her husband Nathan Stokes, owners of Advantage Group Training in St Tammany Parish. The couple had to cancel their twice-a-month firearm training classes after Covid-19 began to spread.  Rather than stay home, they found peace and stress relief by helping others.

Clare, who is also a part time chef, saw her best friend, Amanda Savona, struggling to keep her new restaurant open.

Amanda and her husband Danny spent the weekend celebrating the Crazy Pig Southern Kitchen’s first anniversary in Mandeville, Louisiana, when they were shocked by state mandated orders to shut down on Monday morning.  Amanda had created 15 jobs in the community and was planning to expand.  Now she was facing employee layoffs and scrambling to pay bills.

“I had an idea to do a fundraiser among our 2,000-member class alumni,” said Clare. “I offered them an opportunity to donate money to help provide food for medical workers. In the first two days, we collected $12,000 to pay the Crazy Pig to make meals for front line responders.

“When I presented Amanda this money, she almost cried. She’s been able to keep six full time employees, pay bills and stay open.”

Amanda Savano

Crazy Pig is now in business providing breakfast, lunch and dinner to emergency room workers, intensive care unit and cardiac care unit workers, as well as housekeeping and security staff at four local hospitals and a rehab facility. They’ve been able to provide more than 1,200 meals. 

Medical workers get to sample everything from big breakfast burritos, bowls of stone ground grits to delicious chicken salads with candied pecans, fiesta salads with grilled corn and southwest chicken and homemade chicken minestrone soup.

Advantage Group Breakfast Burritos

“Instead of rice, beans and pasta, we try to provide lighter, healthier options,” Clare said. “We don’t want to contribute to the ‘quarantine 15.’ Amanda had such a following in the first year because her food was so good.”

Clare is no stranger to the devastating effects of a disaster.  Several years earlier, a flood wiped out their firearm training facility. 

“We lost everything and had to apply for an SBA Disaster Loan,” she said.  “We would not even be in business were it not for the SBA.”

Although Clare and Nathan have pulled in no income from classes for two months, they choose not to focus on themselves.  Clare spends her time as a part time chef doing live cooking classes on Sundays for kids and adults, and Nathan works as an emergency room nursing technician.  

“We want to do what we can to help someone who needs the money more than we do,” Clare said. “It feels good to help the community and help friends.  I don’t like seeing my people suffer.”

For more information, contact Clare Reding at reding.clare@gmail.com or 910-988-8758.

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