Each week, a group of Korean seniors from across the five boroughs gather together to enjoy a cup of coffee at one of their favorite local establishments: McDonald’s.
The seniors are members of the Korean American Patriot Association of Greater New York (KAPA-GNY), an organization comprised of Korean veterans between the ages of 60 and 90 who fought alongside U.S. forces during the Korean and/or Vietnam War.
After several years of loyal patronage at the Corona and Whitestone restaurants –where the seniors have received friendly service and first-class hospitality– the group decided it was time to demonstrate their gratitude .
Earlier this month, members of KAPA-GNY presented both stores with a customer appreciation award for providing a clean, safe and welcoming environment for their members as well as the local Korean American community.
“Every time we come to McDonald’s, it’s very comfortable,” said Jae Hee Shim, Chairman of KAPA-GNY and a retired Republic of Korea Army LTC. “Our seniors are very appreciative and thankful to everyone at both restaurants.”
Award presentations were arranged at both Golden Arches and attended by KAPA-GNY members and the franchisees of each restaurant: William and Patrick Miller, the father and son team of the Willets Point establishment and Jack Bert of the Stratton Street store. New York State Assemblymember Ron Kim, who represents the district, attended the ceremony in Whitestone.
“It’s nice to be recognized that they enjoy it,” said William Miller, who has operated the Corona location for over 30 years. “It’s nice to be a part of the neighborhood and it’s nice to know we’re contributing.”
“Our establishment prides itself on being a local neighborhood restaurant that welcomes families, children and seniors,” said Jack Bert, who has owned his Whitestone restaurant for over 15 years. “It’s an honor to have guests like the great men and women of the Patriot Association choose our restaurant as a place where they can get together.”