For decades my father-in-law (Don Zacharia) has been a passionate promoter of “What Makes Zachys Different”…that we are not just your typical local wine store. We are something very different due to the amazing staff that have always been supporting our brand and serving our customers.
There is no better example of that than retired postal employee John Dawson and 7 year veteran of the Zachys sales floor. John came to us in 2005 as a passionate wine aficionado looking for an opportunity to talk-the-talk and eat, sleep and breath wine every day. For the past 7 years John has helped thousands of customers (Both in-store and on the phone) with a warm welcome, possibly a story and a passionate recommendation. He exudes his passion for the industry and his enthusiasm is infectious to customers and co-workers alike.
It was a blow to all of us this Spring when we found out that John was diagnosed with stage 4 metastatic prostate cancer and would require extensive treatment. Treatment like this and a the subsequent recovery is expensive and it was evident that John, who has so humbly served so many over the years, would be in need of assistance from others.
When I tasked the staff for ideas on how we could come together to support John a great idea was thrown out there, “Since John is such a lover of German wines why don’t we have a fun/easy German wine dinner where we can all turn out in support of John.”
And turn out they did!!!
We promoted the event to consumers, industry people, family, friends and co-workers. The attendance was amazing and an overwhelming testament to John’s influence inside and out of Zachys.
I am overwhelmed at how the staff has embraced this effort to support their co-worker and friend.
We paired up with Chef Chris Vergara at HARPERS (Dobbs Ferry), who very generously closed his doors for the evening and donated his services and food in support of John…who he too has known for quite some time and has touched his life.
Over 150 guests turned out for the dinner/tasting with $15,000 raised for the John Dawson Medical Fund on that evening alone.
Fortunately, for all of us, John was able to attend the event to see the outpouring of support from so many who care. There was a great sense of community and family that evening…something that makes me SO PROUD to be part of the Zachys organization. It is the ability of our staff to rally around a fellow employee to create such a meaningful contribution to this challenging time in his life that truly makes Zachys different.
Our effort will not stop here though.
I will be competing in the TOUGHMAN half-ironman triathlon in September in Croton-on-Hudson. Clearly John is the TOUGHMAN and not me. Our fundraising efforts will continue (andrewcompetes.myevent.com/) starting with a “Bake Sale” in front of the store Today (7/26) and Tomorrow (7/27). All the employees have taken to their kitchens to whip up some of their favorite desserts that we will be selling during the Scarsdale Sidewalk Sale for small donations. Come check us out.
It has been a truly emotional week, but one which has been terribly rewarding and motivates me to continue to press-on on John’s behalf.
All my best,