Restaurant holds Veterans Day dinner, raises money for hospitals

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COLUMBIA - Ambient music filled the home-style decorated restaurant Tuesday as owner of Cherie's Cake Boutique & Tea Room and a server bustled to prepare meals for the Veterans Day dinner.

A fairly new local restaurant, Cherie's Cake Boutique & Tea Room, held its first Veterans Day dinner and charged veterans half-off their meal. The restaurant served baked ham, green beans, and a hash brown casserole, with a dinner roll, desert and their drink choice.

Located off I-70 at the Millersburg Exit, the restaurant is owned by Cherie Rutter, who is using part of the proceeds from Tuesday's dinner to buy cell phone charger kiosks for local hospitals.

"It's Regina's idea actually," Rutter said, referring to the owner of Serenity Valley Winery. "Her husband had a heart attack and was in the hospital and her cell phone was dead. And there was nowhere to charge her phone and she didn't think to take her charger with her. And so we have decided that this will be our give back to the community as business owner's to purchase cell phone chargers for the hospitals."

So far they've bought two cell phone charger kiosk stations that are at the Women's and Children's Hospital and the University Hospital. Some of the proceeds from the event will help fund a hone kiosk for the VA. 

Rutter's family has four generations of veterans, and she felt this was a great way to appreciate veterans.

"I just feel that veterans do so much for our country and we tend to forget some of them and to me it's just a way of saying thank you for your time and service for our country," said Rutter.

Rutter's father and veteran, Gene Kite, was also there to get a meal. He began his service in 1956 until the late 1960s.

He said his favorite memory while in the U.S. Navy is the birth of his daughter at Balboa Hospital in San Diego, California.

"I was in the service...maybe a couple of years when we had her. She was...well she's still a pride of my life," said Kite.

Veterans Day is important to Kite, being a veteran himself, he feels like there isn't enough that people can do for those serving in the military force. He said he has done his bit by buying meals for men who have served.

"I was up the other day in a restaurant and there was eight guys sitting in the table and I bought them all dinner," Kite said. "Everybody thought that was silly but it's not silly. I mean, them boys are out there giving their lives to us, least we can do is buy them a meal. I feel that it's very important that we recognize them."

Bob Wright enjoys his half priced meal at Cherie's Cake Boutique & Tea Room on Tuesday, Nov. 11, 2014, in Columbia, Missouri. Wright served in the United States Army from 1962 to 1965 and spent Veterans Day volunteering for Habitat for Humanity. (KOMU/Jordon Shultz)

Marian Wright buys a tea server from Cherie's Cake Boutique & Tea Room on Tuesday, Nov. 11, 2014, in Columbia, Missouri. Wright and her husband have known owner Cherie Rutter for 20 years. (KOMU/Jordon Shultz)

Cherie Rutter displays her family's military history, which spans four generations, on the wall of the Tea Room Tuesday, Nov. 11, 2014, in Columbia, Missouri. Rutter's family is the reason she decided to host a Veterans Day dinner at her restaurant. (KOMU/Jordon Shultz)

Rocket Kirchner provides the evening's musical entertainment at Cherie's Cake Boutique & Tea Room on Tuesday, Nov. 11, 2014, in Columbia, Missouri. Kirchner, from Columbia, started Splinter Records in 1983. He enjoys playing music at Cherie's because there are no TVs or Wi-Fi to distract customers. (KOMU/Jordon Shultz)

Cherie's Cake Boutique & Tea Room held a Veterans Day dinner on Tuesday, Nov. 11, 2014, in Columbia, Missouri. Veterans ate for half price while Rocket Kirchner performed live music. (KOMU/Jordon Shultz)

"Prisoners of Hope" sits on the shelf on Cherie's Cake Boutique & Team Room on Tuesday, Nov. 11, 2014 in Columbia, Missouri. Colonel Jimmie Dean Coy served in multiple special operations and is the author of the Eagle series. He most recently served in Iraq before retiring. (KOMU/Ross Terrell)