GOOD NEWS: Five-star customer service

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From the reviews, Vinny’s Grill & Sushi Restaurant in downtown Polson is a busy, people-pleasing kind of place.

The restaurant bills its menu as “comfort food and yummy sushi” — it has everything from bagels and lox and breakfast “sammies” to sushi and soup.

But it’s not just the food that gets top billing. Praises are also posted online for owner and chef Vinny Weisman for being an all-around great guy and going the extra mile for his customers.

One family had a particularly lovely dinner over the holidays thanks to Vinny.

More than 20 members of Christian Bumgarner’s family were all home for Christmas in Polson. The family of the Bumgarners’ oldest daughter has a longstanding tradition of enjoying a little sushi on Christmas Eve. That sounded like a great idea, but where in Polson was a family of that size going to come up with sushi the night before Christmas?

“The only local place we knew of was Vinny’s and we weren’t sure if he would be open Saturday,” Bumgarner said, “but we got his contact information from a fellow business neighbor, Sharon McDaniel, and gave him a call.

“Vinny not only prepared the sushi feast for our Christmas Eve celebration, but sent it to us on nice china.”

“Who does that?” Bumgarner added.

“Just bring it back when you can,” Vinny told them.

“We enjoyed a terrific sushi feast and my family was thrilled to be able to continue this tradition in Polson,” Bumgarner said.

“Thanks, Vinny for representing our local Polson businesses well in this kind gesture to my family. Words really don’t do your graciousness justice but I wanted to publicly thank you for your gift to us. May God richly bless you!”

AND WHILE extolling local businesses, a woman called the Inter Lake recently wanting to, in her words, “just give a shout out” to China Wall for bringing her chicken noodle soup earlier this month when she was sick.

Indeed, and thankfully, there are still plenty of customer services that just can’t be had on the internet.

VOLUNTEERS WRAPPED up a successful fundraiser with the Kalispell Senior Center’s gift wrapping station during the holidays at the Kalispell Center Mall.

“It’s a Wrap” was the biggest fundraiser of the year for the senior center.

“A nonprofit that survives with help from its many fundraisers throughout the year, we provide a safe and clean environment to help ensure our valley’s senior citizens can continue to experience an active, social and happy life,” the board of directors said in their letter.

The board thanked mall manager Eric Peterson and secretary Ashley, Dave and the maintenance crew who “went above and beyond to make sure our space was adequate and kept clean.”

“Another great thank you to all of our many volunteers, who put in more than 650 hours of wrapping, and to Dee Boyce and DJ Lopez who contributed more than 200 hours!” they added.

All the community members who donated supplies, time and money to their cause, and the mall residents for looking after the volunteers, bringing snacks and lunch, as well as donating supplies and time were also thanked.

“The people of the Flathead Valley, as well as those from out of town, really showed their care and consideration for our local seniors, and that to us is a gift in itself,” they wrote. “We wish you all a happy new year and a successful and safe 2017!”

Carol Marino is the community editor of the Daily Inter Lake in Kalispell, Montana.

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