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Elected, chamber officials celebrate grand reopening of restaurant by raising funds for nonprofit organization.

Oregon City elected and chamber officials celebrated the grand reopening of a restaurant last month by raising funds for a nonprofit organization that celebrates community.PMG PHOTO: ETHAN M. ROGERS - Biscuits Cafe owner David Ligatich reopens the restaurant in Oregon City with fellow members of the chamber of commerce.

David Ligatich, and his wife and business partner, Dana, are a couple that understand community. The Ligatichs put down solid roots in the community by seeking out and supporting Oregon charities when they took ownership of Biscuits Café in Gresham. In October of 2021 they bought three more locations, including Sunnyside, Johnson Creek and Oregon City.

"When we bought our three locations last October," Ligatich said, "we asked all the managers to go out and find a local charity that we can adopt because we really want to be in the community." PMG PHOTO: ETHAN M. ROGERS - Oregon City Commission President Denyse McGriff, now mayor-elect, celebrates the restaurant's reopening with Biscuits Cafe owner David Ligatich. In the background are the founders of Club Emu.

Ligatich's Oregon City location manager at the time, currently on sabbatical, introduced him to the nonprofit organization called Club Everyone, Me and U (Club Emu).

"He called me up and said, 'I have the right people; I have the right charity; we need to get these people in here,'" Ligatich said.

Biscuits Café and Club Emu's joint grand-reopening and fundraiser on Aug. 17 drew support from customers and community leaders. Oregon City Chamber of Commerce CEO Victoria Meinig was there to lend support, as was Oregon City Commission President Denyse McGriff.

"We're glad to be supportive of him," said Meinig, speaking of Ligatich, "as a new member and as someone who's looking forward to helping our community."

"Oregon City is very pro-business," McGriff said. "We want to make sure that our retail businesses, particularly our restaurants, get off to a great start."

Ligatich cut a red ribbon held across the front door of the reopened Biscuits Café. A loud confetti bomb had everyone ducking for cover, but smiles followed as confetti fell about the celebrants. Lagatich presented a giant cardboard check for $1,000 to benefit Club Emu and the work they do.PMG PHOTO: ETHAN M. ROGERS - John and Michelle Davis, founders of Club Emu, accept a $1,000 donation from Biscuits Cafe owner David Ligatich.

Club Emu is the passion project of Estacada residents John and Michelle Davis, parents of autistic children who created the group to provide support to parents of developmentally disabled kids who are no longer supported by the educational system.

Michelle Davis said the nonprofit was started three years ago for neuro-diverse, developmentally disabled teens and adults.

"We started it initially because we both have two autistic adult sons at home," Michelle Davis said. "Once they hit adolescence, there's really nothing out there. It's hard to find activities where they can build relationships and make connections with others, and then onward into adulthood, it's even worse, so we wanted to start something for that."

Club Emu organizes events like bowling, craft nights, taco Tuesdays, clubhouse night where they arrange a variety of activities like board games, chatting, video games and then roaming activities like camping and kayaking. Club Emu hosts five or six events monthly.

"Talking to John (Davis)," Ligatich said, "they live on $20 donations, like 10 bucks here, 20 bucks there, I said, 'You know what, let's throw you a really good one (fundraiser).' We actually planned this for the last six months, got into the chamber, got the word out there, made a menu, got everything going."

Biscuit Café's $1,000 donation will go a long way toward making life easier for the Club Emu Board.

"When we started out," John Davis said, "we didn't have the funds to run background checks and do that kind of stuff… We just try to have the board members be at events; most of the time it's just me and Michelle. Now that we've got a little bit of funds coming in, we're growing, starting to take on some new board members, starting to take on some new volunteers — so it's steadily growing the more that people are hearing about what we're doing."

"I will tell you," Ligatich said, "that because of the relationship that we built with the community, during COVID the community rallied around us. I mean there was a couple times when we thought, 'Oh my gosh, are we going to shut down?' and the community just rallied, I mean they were like, 'We're getting stuff at Biscuits, we're getting lunch, we're doing breakfast, we're doing that,' so we understand the importance of what the community is."

Building community

Club Everyone, Me and U: clubemu.org

Biscuits Café open: Monday-Friday 6:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.; Saturdays 6:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. and Sundays 7 a.m.-2:30 p.m.

Where: 19273 Molalla Ave., Suite H, Oregon City

Call: 503-744-0094

Online: biscuitscafe.com


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