Monday, December 19, 2011

154th Week Update - Miles Neighborhood Food Collection Project

Hi Folks,

“Call Detective Mark and tell him to hurry.”

Maen Mdanat, owner of the Axis Food Mart
Since February 2010, I have been writing about my friend Maen Mdanat, the owner of the Axis Food Mart. The reason is he never disappoints me. Tiger Woods disappoints me. Joe Paterno and the whole Penn State crew disappoints me. But Maen, even as time and a stressful business economy trudges on, is the same person I met that chilly day in his parking lot almost two years ago . He reminds me of a company president who, when asked why he doesn’t take notes in meetings, said, “I don’t have to, I never lie.”
People have raised questions about Maen’s character, integrity and ethnicity when he applied for his beer and wine license and again when he applied for a liquor license. Those questions forced him to defend himself and his business and cost him a lot in legal fees. He prevailed with no malice in his heart.

Through all of those tribulations, I was one of his most ardent supporters because he listened to my ideas about protecting our neighborhood and helped eradicate the vagrant problem. During a licensing session at the city council, Councilman Frimbres shook our hands and asked me, “He’s still a good guy, right?”

“Yes, sir, he is,” I replied. I could tell Councilman Fimbres was counting on me to vouch for Maen because he knew how much my One Can A Week program means to me and that I wouldn’t jeopardize my reputation for anything.

Today there are more people standing in Maen’s corner providing support, namely the Tucson Police Department.

If you remember in June of this year I wrote in the 129th Week Update, The Beer Keg Caper about Maen’s efforts to help the police capture a thief. Well, a little over a week ago Maen received a letter from the Tucson Police Department with an update on the case and a commendation. The letter reads in full:

“Mr. Maen Mdanat,

“In June 2011, officers from the Tucson Police Department Liquor Licensing unit received information that numerous kegs were stolen from restaurants all over Tucson. The kegs were possibly being returned to receive money back from deposits.

“You were contacted reference this investigation and provided valuable information which lead to officers identifying one of the participants. On June 23, 2011, you phoned officers and advised the suspect was currently in your store returning more kegs. Officers were able to contact the individual. It was discovered two individuals were responsible for the thefts all over Tucson. The subjects were charged with multiple felony arrests due to your cooperation with the Tucson Police Department.

“The Tucson Police Department is thankful for your partnership in this investigation. Without your participation, this case probably would not have been resolved and the local businesses would continue to suffer financial losses. Sincerely, Captain Clayton Kidd, Commander Traffic Division.”

Maen’s been very good for the Miles Neighborhood in many, many ways.

I’ve thanked him a number time for keeping me and my neighbors safe. Perhaps in the spirit of the holiday season you could stop by his store and thank him yourself.

Merry Christmas everyone.

Rain and Shine
The rain chased the sun in and out of the clouds this past Sunday but no matter, we collected more than 30 lbs. above our weekly average. With great results like that, who cares if you get a little wet.

We collected a total of 200 lbs. of food. The money we donated amounted to $107.50, a $25.00 check and $82.50 in cash.

See you Sunday,


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