The Laguna Beach police and fire departments were treated March 30 to 80 free meals from Wahoo’s Fish Taco, courtesy of the California Love Drop, an initiative of Southern California CEOs and business founders.
Wing Lam, co-founder of Wahoo’s and a Newport Beach resident, personally joined the team to deliver lunch to Laguna Beach Fire Station 2. He was inspired to give back to the community, particularly first responders and frontline workers facing the arduous challenges posed by COVID-19.
“I am humbled by the kindness and caring demonstrated toward first responders and essential workers across the country,” Laguna Beach Fire Chief Mike Garcia wrote in an email. “Many of those who have been immensely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic are still able to think of others first. We have experienced this kindness and caring within our community throughout this last year, most recently last week by Wahoo. Their generosity is inspiring and appreciated!”
What was initially a single delivery of 300 meals from Wahoo’s Fish Taco to Hoag Hospital in Irvine on April 12, 2020, has turned into a corporate collaboration known as California Love Drop. Since then the initiative has delved more than 17,000 meals spread over 191 drops, according to californialovedrop.org.
Lam enjoys getting his hands dirty while doing charity work and encourages fellow CEOs, partners, and founders to do the same.
“The whole thing about charity work is it’s easy to [write] a check, but this is us,” Lam said. “All of us do it together as a team.”
Lam was joined by Wendy Ellis, director of marketing of 95.5 KLOS; Dena Tripp, co-founder of Nothing Bundt Cakes; and Charles Antis, CEO and founder of Antis Roofing.
After a grueling year of COVID-19 protocols on top of typical 911 calls for service, Laguna Beach first responders who attended the California Love Drop event appeared to be in good spirits, Lam said.
“They were more relieved than anything else,” he said. “They didn’t look like they were crazy stressed. They were more grateful.”Monster Beverage, Blue C Advertising, Antis Roofing, UHSM Christian Healthcare, and the Heidi and Frank Show were among the event’s co-sponsors.