BARSTOW • It isn’t often that one can order a flautas platter or request a refill of water and have it brought to them by their city’s fire chief.
Public officials and other cornerstones of the community will serve guests at Los Domingos Tuesday, with all tips received helping the Toys for Tots program.
Former Barstow mayor Mal Wessel started the event in the 1990s to benefit the Toys for Tots program, which he chaired from 1979 to 2009. All tips collected, plus 10 percent of the profit from meals, will allow the program to purchase the toys they need which they’ll then begin distributing on Wednesday.
“The dinner is hosted by our mayor and it’s open to the public,” Wessel said. “The thing that’s different about the dinner is your server may be the chief of police, maybe the mayor, maybe the city clerk.”
In fact, servers who are already confirmed to participate include Fire Chief Rich Ross, City Clerk Joanne Cousino, City Councilwoman Carmen Hernandez and former mayor Lawrence Dale.
Max Atalla, owner of Los Domingos, has been involved with Tips for Tots for seven or eight years, he estimated.
“This time of year, everyone has to be thankful for what they have,” he said. “Everyone is here for one cause.”
The event will be held inside the Los Domingos banquet hall and Atalla believes the uniqueness of watching public officials take food orders, as well as dining in close quarters, allows people to enjoy themselves.
“People tend to have a lot of fun,” he said. “They get a kick out it.”
For the third year, the Marine Corps base will run the event, which runs 5 to 9 p.m.
All members of the community are invited to attend and enjoy a meal, though Wessel jokingly noted some people will have ulterior motives.
“I’ve had some people tell me they want to ask the Chief of Police about the last ticket they got,” he said. “It’s always been in fun, though.”
“It’s always a nice time.”