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Disabled Veterans Committee on Housing, Navy recognize steakhouse for support

From left, Katherine Lewandowski, wife of Disabled Veterans Committee on Housing founder John S. Lewandowski, presents Longhorn Steakhouse Manager Nicki Bender with the Lithograph Award for service to the U.S. military. Navy PO1 Dereck Staincliffe was present for the ceremony at Longhorn Steakhouse last month. Courtesy photo

The Disabled Veterans Committee on Housing has announced that the U.S. Navy recently recognized Longhorn Steakhouse during a presentation in Winchester for the restaurant's service to area military.

Last month the Navy Sea Chanters presented the restaurant with the Lithograph Award for its generosity in November when the restaurant donated food and beverages to members of the Sea Chanters visiting Winchester for a performance. The group performed for a packed house at the Armstrong Auditorium at Shenandoah University at the request of the DVCH. The theater could seat only half of those interested in ordering tickets, a newsletter from the DVCH said.

In 2012, the concert event was held in the Patsy Cline Theater at John Handley High School.

The award recognizes organizations that go above and beyond to help the military, said DVCH founder John S. Lewandowski.

His wife Katherine V. Lewandowski presented the award to Longhorn Steakhouse General Manager Nicki Bender, who accepted on behalf of herself and Assistant Manager Michael Bachman. Navy PO1 Dereck Staincliffe was present for the ceremony.

The DVCH also recognized Michael Twitty, son of Country Music Hall of Fame member Conway Twitty, who sent an autographed photo of himself as a gift to Longhorn Steakhouse. The photo shows him on stage at Millbrook High School in Winchester during a January performance he gave to help raise funds for the renovation of the Strasburg property that, when completed, will be a veterans community center.

Michael Twitty, who also dined at Longhorn while in Winchester, included his father's slogan, "Hello darlin'" on the signed photograph, according to John Lewandowski, who retired as chairman of the DCVH in January. Jorge Gutierrez took over as chairman on Jan. 20.

"The community stands behind our military," Lewandowski said. He invited anyone to call the DCVH, saying, "We're here to provide any other assistance that the military or veterans need."


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