Coconut Bay manager Missy McGrew, left, and Amber Crist enjoy the restaurant and bar's 15th anniversary on Tuesday night when a benefit was also held for First Shot Basketball. Photo submitted
Coconut Bay Café celebrated its 15th year in business on Tuesday night, and at the same time, took advantage of an opportunity to give back to the community.
For the past three years, Coconut Bay has teamed up with First Shot Basketball to send underprivileged children to a camp each year.
The restaurant and bar is currently doing a campaign to raise money to send kids to camps this spring and summer. On Monday, more than $600 was raised on top of $500 that had already been raised.
“They approached us about three years ago about getting involved in First Shot,” said Coconut Bay manager Missy McGrew. “We thought what they did as far as sending kids to camp was a wonderful thing to do. We sent every kid we wanted to last year and raised around $2,800.”
First Shot is a faith-based organization that teaches basketball with a Christian message. It was founded by Andy Herzer, a former MTSU men’s basketball assistant.
More than 300 kids participated in the First Shot winter basketball program. Herzer’s organization also puts an emphasis on sending kids to camps, which offer English, music, writing, dance and basketball.
“I can’t begin to say how much Coconut Bay has done for First Shot,” Herzer said. “I can’t say enough about what (owner) Amanda (Gallagher) and Missy have done. Our last two years, they’ve probably sent 150-200 kids to camp. They do a tremendous job giving back to the community.”
Meanwhile, Coconut Bay was able to celebrate 15 years in business by inviting its favorite patrons for free food and beverages. Approximately 275 people attended the event.
“To be able to celebrate 15 years in business in accomplishment in itself,” McGrew said. “It really went well. It was like having all of your favorite customers under one roof.
“To be able to give back to our customers and the community on the same night was great. It was a win-win for everyone.”
Coconut Bay Café is located on 210 Stones River Mall Blvd. It opens at 11 a.m. seven days a week. Patrons can still donate to First Shot and help send a child to camp.