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El Gaucho to support Camp Lewis

High-end restaurant to hold auction

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Chad Mackay has always had a profound admiration for serving those who serve us. So much so, that even with the 20th anniversary of his family's famed Seattle restaurant, El Gaucho, on the horizon, Mackay wanted to somehow give back to the community. El Gaucho has partnered once again with the USO Northwest, this time to help support Camp Lewis, a USO Hospitality Center at Joint Base Lewis-McChord near Waller Hall.

Servicemembers are most likely familiar with USO hubs found at airports. They offer servicemembers a comfortable place to grab a bite to eat, sit back and relax, and even play video games while in transit. These places of community offer servicemembers a unique opportunity to connect with other members of the military and their families, too. The all-new Camp Lewis will be located right on JBLM and offer all the same amenities generally found in the airport. An opening date for Camp Lewis is still pending.  

While there are many celebrations being held to honor El Gaucho's 20th anniversary over the next several weeks, Mackay, the president and COO of El Gaucho Hospitality, is delighted to include Camp Lewis in their celebrations. "We really enjoy serving those who serve us," said Mackay. El Gaucho will be hosting an invitation-only benefit and auction Friday, Nov. 11. All of the proceeds from the entire evening will go towards the USO Northwest and the building of Camp Lewis.

"We have some outrageous items up for auction," said Mackay. Some of the high-end items up for auction include wine tours of Argentina, Italy and Spain, as well as cruises and hand-crafted, USO-themed glass ornaments by Jason Christian. Delta Airlines has partnered with El Gaucho Hospitality to help with the airfare for the vacation packages up for auction. There will also be a unique experience up for auction: an opportunity to play a round of paintball against the United States Marines. "We knew from the beginning of planning that our 20th anniversary wasn't going to be about us," said Mackay. "We are a community that enjoys serving others."

While El Gaucho is known for their fresh seafood and cuts of Angus Beef, they are so much more than their fine dining. Mackay is proud of the strong relationship that has been forged between El Gaucho Hospitality and the USO Northwest through the years. They have partnered together to support the troops through many different events. Through their current fundraising, El Gaucho Hospitality hopes to raise $160,000 to help sustain operating costs of Camp Lewis for a year. "We have a great relationship with the USO," said Mackay. "This is the least we can do."

While the benefit and auction are by invite only, the USO Northwest is currently accepting donations to go towards the building and operational costs of Camp Lewis. Donations can be made at: The link will direct you to the USO Donations website. 

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