Amerigas, one of the companies that sells propane to Hawthorne and the surrounding communities, held a customer appreciation day on Aug. 16 to say “thank you” to its many customers in the area.

Steve Webb, Amerigas deliver rep, flips a burger at the Amerigas customer appreciation day on Aug. 16. Webb and his coworkers showed their appreciation for Amerigas’ customers by cooking hot dogs and hamburgers for them. (C.W. Wilkinson photo)

Amerigas, one of the companies that sells propane to Hawthorne and the surrounding communities, held a customer appreciation day on Aug. 16 to say “thank you” to its many customers in the area.

“We always try to give back to the community,” said Brett Muñoz, Amerigas district manager for Hawthorne.

Amerigas thanked its customers with a free barbecue. Cooks pulled burgers and hot dogs off the grill for hours and freely gave them to anyone who asked.

The Consolidated Agency for Human Services was also at the event accepting donations. Donors filled a large barrel to the top with school supplies for the agency’s backpack program.

Amerigas also sponsored a raffle to raise money for CAHS and the Kenny Bostic Foundation. The Bostic Foundation was set to hold a car wash, but volunteers never appeared, Muñoz said.

Those organizations were chosen as beneficiaries because of their connections with the community and schools.

“We chose CAHS because they’re here to help the community, and they’re here to help a school or whoever needs help,” said Julie McFatridge, the Amerigas employee who chose the beneficiaries. “And we also chose the Kenny Bostic Foundation to do a car wash, because that’s also school related and community related.”

Community participation is a corporate value in Amerigas, Muñoz said.

“They want us to do stuff like this, and we’re trying to find time to do it,” Muñoz said. “We’re all busy folks, but we try to find time to do it.

“We live here, work here. Our customers live here. Even though we’re a big corporation, we still live in the same towns.”

But customer appreciation days aren’t the only way Amerigas gives back to the community.

Muñoz said his office collects donation coupons from people who pay their bills. Using the coupons, Muñoz said, Amerigas donated about $700 to Mineral County schools last year.

The company also made a donation of about $400 to the local troop of the Boy Scouts of America, Muñoz said.

Muñoz said he personally enjoyed the barbeque.

“I just like meeting people,” Muñoz said.

Muñoz believes its events like customer appreciation day, as well as Amerigas’ quality, that makes the company worth patronizing.

“Even though we may be a little higher priced our service, our response, our safety is second to none,” Muñoz said.

Muñoz’ district runs from Schurz to The Shady Lady, a legal brothel outside of Beatty.