Burnet restaurant helping out Hill Country Community Foundation

JENNIFER FIERRO • STAFF WRITER

BURNET — The latest example of neighbors helping neighbors will be at Bill’s Burgers, Wings and Things on Aug. 18.

Beginning at 5 p.m. at the restaurant, 306 Texas 29 East, 10 percent of sales will be donated to the Suzanne Johnson Scholarship Endowment, which is part of the Hill Country Community Foundation. Attendees are asked to mention they’re eating there to support the foundation.

Bill’s Burgers, Wings and Things owner Amber Cardenas said she and her family were happy to help the foundation because of the friendship they have with Cary Johnson, president of First State Bank in Burnet, and his wife, Suzanne, who lost her battle with cancer four years ago.

“Cary has always been very supportive of our business,” she said. “And I knew Suzanne.”

Johnson said his relationship with the Cardenases grew when they began talking seriously of opening a family business. The Cardenases also have lost at least one family member to cancer.

Johnson and his children wanted to do something to honor Suzanne, who was known for giving back to the community. The Johnsons also have a passion for education.

So creating an endowment that awards scholarships to graduating Burnet High School seniors made sense, he said. In all, they have distributed more than $300,000.

The Johnsons moved to Burnet in 1981. Cary Johnson became involved with the foundation when former Burnet Rotary president John Hoover said he wanted to create a nonprofit organization that was committed to serving the community.

Johnson is now a lifetime board member of the foundation, which has bestowed $7 million since its inception in 1982.

“The foundation and Burnet schools are close and dear to my heart,” he said. “I hope we draw 300 people (to Bill’s Burgers, Wings and Things).”

The Johnsons have made friends and ingrained themselves in the city. Cary Johnson wasn’t sure about his contributions to his neighbors but was emphatic about how they have added to his family’s quality of life.

“The community has been good to my family and me,” he said. “I can say that without a doubt.”

jfierro@thepicayune.com

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