The city of South Los Angeles had a warm Thanksgiving Eve with the help of another partnership between Los Angeles Lakers co-owner Jesse Buss and Hashtag Lunchbag. Vox Collegiate of Los Angeles hosted 90 people to break bread and share #GratitudeAndGoodVibes over a traditional Thanksgiving feast prepared by L.A. native Ajay Lerañ and his team at Hilltop Coffee + Kitchen.
A wonderful dinner within their own community taking pride in who they are. Co-founder of Hashtag Lunchbag, J.D. McElroy, was running out of the kitchen when we asked him what this dinner meant to him and he couldn’t have worded it better.
“Having this dinner here is a great way to bring our local schools and organization together,” McElroy said.
Lerañ, who in addition to Hilltop Coffee + Kitchen, is also a co-founder at Hashtag Lunchbag, recruited his wife and baby daughter to assist at the event. Lerañ is the catalyst behind the wonderful idea of a dinner and reeled in friends like Buss, Hashtag and Hilltop to be a part of it.
Lerañ created the social media hashtag, ‘#GratitudeAndGoodVibes,’ and when asked about the inspiration behind it said, “Gratitude is our foundation. We’re fortunate enough to be in business [in South L.A.] and be able to feed our families. Good vibes is what Hilltop is known for, it’s everything that we’re about; it’s creating a good environment, it’s energy for people to come, get in touch with their inner creative selves and create goodness.”
When it came to dinner, all celebrities who attended dropped their social status, put an apron on and served everyone at the table. While enjoying their meal, the families around the table shared what they were grateful for and even met some new friends.
Once everyone had a plate, they took time to honor a successful end to the first trimester of Vox Collegiate. The Head of School at Vox, Ty Anthony Davis, was very much involved throughout the night.
Even when running around to keep matters organized and flowing, Davis had a big smile on his face as he greeted kids and their families. “We hope our families leave knowing how much they are appreciated and how many people believe in the future of their children,” Davis said.
“And he was right, everyone from Tory Lanez, Kid Ink and actor Miles Brown of ABC’s ‘Black-ish’ lent a hand to show their belief in these kids and local community.
Buss himself was extremely active throughout the dinner, feeding families and tending to tables, all alongside his young son. “My dad always taught me to give back to the community,” Buss said.
“He always said that him and Los Angeles were soulmates so giving back to LA is very important to my family and I; we do everything we can to help play a part in helping the vision for the community be positive one.”
An overall beautiful night in the heart of the city and for what Hashtag Lunchbag hopes marked the beginning of a graceful tradition.
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