SUNOL (KPIX 5) When youth groups and non-profits in the East Bay want to raise money with a pancake breakfast or a bbq, word of mouth usually leads them to one man: this week’s Jefferson Award winner.
Lowell Hoxie has been cooking for 25 years.
“People say ‘Oh, can you cook for this? Can you cook for that?’ So I do,” he explained.
But not for money. Hoxie never charges a dime. When he volunteers to cook, each event just pays for the food and supplies.
It all started in 1995 when Hoxie volunteered to cook for a Boy Scout jamboree. He built a mobile kitchen using equipment he’d salvaged through his demolition business. The more he used the little kitchen… the more word got out.
“Next year I get a call, I don’t know who this person is, she just calls me up and says, ‘You were there last year.’ I says ‘Yeah’, ‘Can you do it again?’ ‘Yeah, I can do it.’ Now I’m kind of on a list. Every year, the next person who’s in charge of this breakfast, Oh, this is the guy you need to call.’
At this point, Hoxie has served up so many meals, there’s just no telling how many people he’s fed.
“I got the equipment to do it,” he said. “That makes a big difference, that helps. It’s hard cooking for 4, 5, 600 people at one time and I just have a knack for it I guess.”
Ken Hatch has known Hoxie for years, and says without him:
“Then I think they’d have to rely to some of those commercial catering places to do that job and then it would cost money cause he doesn’t charge.”
Sunol Glen School teacher Karen Jeffries echoes the sentiment.
“I’m sure we’d have to come up with something else,” she said at the idea of not having Hoxie to do the cooking. “Something simpler that wouldn’t be as profitable. Because people come from all over to get his tri-tip.”
“It gets a little tiring after a while but, you know, as long as I’m able to do it physically, I’ll just keep doing it,” Hoxie said.
So for giving his time and culinary skills to help youth groups and non-profits, this week’s Jefferson Award in the Bay Area goes to Lowell Hoxie.