OXFORD — Owners and friends of a local restaurant have a dream of building a new home for a Mechanic Falls family.
Amanda Ouellette and her husband, Aaron, who own Daddy O's Restaurant on Route 26, have served free Thanksgiving Day dinners for patrons for the past two years in an effort to raise money.
As of last week, more than $3,200 has been raised on Thanksgiving Day from patrons donating money while enjoying a holiday dinner with all the fixings.
“We have kind of an adopted a family in Mechanic Falls,” said Amanda Ouellette, who also lives in that community. “We set it as a goal to some day build them a new house.”
She said the recipients, Bradley and Candy Harriman Bisbee and their family, lost a son, Tyler, 17, in an car accident Feb. 9, 2011.
To ensure that the family keeps warm during the winter, Ouellette said she is spending much of the donations now to buy oil for the winter.
This is the second year the restaurant has offered the free holiday dinners. Ouellette said the service not only helps raise money for the Bisbee family — $2,400 was raised in 2011 and $800 this year — but it also provides a free holiday meal to many people who might otherwise be eating at home alone.
This year, Daddy O's served 60 meals, Ouellette said.
Patty Mayberry of Oxford, who along with her husband has breakfast at the restaurant each Thursday, attended the Thanksgiving Day dinner.
“That meal was fantastic,” Mayberry said. “From soup to nuts: It was amazing. To have a restaurant that small do this and reach out to their neighbors, well maybe it will open the other restaurants to do the same thing. There are so many people struggling so badly.”