Group sunset

Community Beat: Steamboat Rallies Behind Anonymous Donor to Provide Free Breakfast to Those in Need

March 2, 2021

Sometimes there is a story that needs to be told. Blue Fire was approached and asked how we could help spread this GOOD news. We thought, 'Heck yeah, of course, we can help.' We wrote a press release, took a few pictures and sent it out to a few hundred of our media contacts across Colorado and nationally. Fingers crossed that there's still room in the media cycle for a feel-good story to run.

Community Rallies Behind Anonymous Donor to Provide Free Breakfast to Those in Need

Steamboat Springs, CO (March 2, 2021) - Sharon Stone, owner of Sharon’s Restaurant in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, knows what community is all about. She has been serving breakfast in Steamboat for 32 years and has never seen anything impact the community as drastically as the Covid-19 pandemic. The economic hardship has been tough to bear for so many people in rural Routt County, Colorado and throughout the country. While restaurant owners have been particularly hard hit during this health crisis, Sharon has been part of a local grassroots movement that has turned lemons into lemonade and made a difference for so many who are struggling to get by. 

Sharon Stone of Sharon’s Restaurant in Steamboat Springs

With the help of an anonymous donor last December, Sharon started serving free breakfast and coffee to help those affected by job loss and pandemic-related closures. It all started with a regular customer who has requested to remain anonymous. He ate his breakfast, went to pay the bill and then donated $1,200  to offer free breakfasts to those who could use a leg up. “He said, ‘There’s something I want to talk to you about,’” Stone said. “’If I leave you this check, could you do some free breakfasts?’” 

This one gesture has turned into a micro-movement. “It’s become quite the thing, where people just leave $5, $10 or $20 extra dollars, and pay it forward,” says Stone. “As long as the meals are needed, and the community keeps pitching in, I’ll continue to offer free breakfast. It means a lot to people; you can see it in their eyes. We are keeping people going and I am happy to think that my free breakfasts are chipping away at the local economic and mental health crisis.” 

The original donor also offered to match the first $1,500 and the donations have streamed in. “It’s really been a win-win-win,” said the anonymous donor. “The people who can spare a little feel good for giving, local business gets a life-line and so do those who are in need.”

The donor continued, “There are people not only struggling financially. The mental anguish and fatigue are debilitating. A warm cup of coffee and good meal go a long way to lift the spirit.” 

Watching how the community has continued to move the program forward, the donor feels that this is something that can be a winning formula for communities in need around the country. “It doesn’t take much to get it started, the giving can perpetuate itself, and it makes an impact on the community as the whole. It saves businesses and jobs, while feeding the needy.” 

There have been some days Sharon has served more free meals than paid meals, but it keeps her in business and the community intact. The gratitude she feels for her community is overwhelming and she knows that she is making a difference in people’s lives. 

The free breakfast includes a choice of biscuits and gravy with eggs, baby pancakes with eggs or a breakfast burrito with green chili or salsa every Monday-Saturday, starting at 7am. Sharon’s Restaurant is located at 2851 Riverside Plaza, Steamboat Springs, CO 80487 and is open Monday-Saturday 6am-2pm, and Sunday 7-1. You can find her on Facebook at Sharon’s. Give her a follow and share the good news and create a movement in your local community.