Deep South Taco: More than a Partnership.
For Deep South Taco owner Chef Richard Hamilton, supporting Roswell Park was more than a business decision, it was personal.
Richard’s son, Christian, started his battle with cancer in 2019 when he was 19 years old. A college athlete at the time, Christian took excellent care of his health.
“To get sick when you’re just the epitome of health… it just came out of nowhere,” Richard said. They don’t have a strong family history of cancer, so the news was beyond unexpected. Christian battled, testicular cancer, lymphedema and further cancer in his kidneys, liver. After initial chemotherapy and surgery, doctors also found cysts on his brain.
“When my son first got sick, I called around to several top hospitals because I wanted to make sure he had the best of the best,” Richard said, remembering the shock of his son’s initial diagnosis. “Through meeting with the doctors at Roswell Park and discussing the different options for treatment, I was more comfortable with him there than any other hospital. On top of that, I can see Roswell Park from the roof of my restaurant. They’re in my backyard.”
Christian is 22 years old now and through that part of his cancer story. Now, the Hamilton family is focused on giving back. After Christian’s experience at Roswell Park, the family decided they wanted to do everything in their power to support programs that could continue to grow and help more kids and young adults.
“My son is alive. My son is going to be healthy and he’s going to fight another day. I’ve got to make sure I do the same so another kid has this opportunity.”
“This company is 100% of who we are and what we do,” Richard said of Deep South Taco. “We’ve lived in Buffalo now for 10 years and I’ve owned Deep South Taco for almost eight of them. We felt like the city had done enough for us.”
So it was decided. In 2020, in the midst of the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, Richard said he was going to “put my money where my mouth is” and use Deep South Taco’s biggest event of the year to make a difference in the lives of the kids at Roswell Park and their families.
“Cancer doesn’t stop for a pandemic. There’s no question that we had to do it,” he said. “I can’t make a kid wait; there’s always going to be something in the way. We’re still here working, still here fighting. My son was fighting, other kids are fighting and I’m not going to quit.”
Cinco de Mayo 2022
Now, for the second year in a row, the proceeds from the Deep South Taco Cinco de Mayo Street Festival on Thursday, May 5, 2022 at will be donated to the Courage of Carly Fund to support kids and young adults with cancer.
The Ellicott Street event will boast fun and refreshing food and beverages, incredible live music, VIP rooftop lounges and more. And every penny spent will support pediatric and young adult cancer patients.
“This is going to be so much fun. And it’s such an easy thing,” Richard said. “If people are going to celebrate anyway, why not come and buy a margarita here? We’re just going to give that money right to Roswell Park. They can help without even knowing they’re helping. Just by being here, they’re helping the kids at Roswell Park.”
And Deep South Taco won’t be stopping there. Richard said he and some other business friends of his are excited to continue their support of Roswell Park and the Courage of Carly Fund this summer and into the future.
If you want to keep up with Deep South Taco and keep an eye out for more chances to help patients at Roswell Park through their generous support, follow them on social media!