Honoring a friend through philanthropy

In 2002, co-workers of Lynnwood Craig, maître d’ of the Town Point Club, surprised him by naming a dining room in his honor and starting the Lynnwood Craig Fund that provides grants to support juvenile diabetes research. Craig has passed away, but his legacy lives on.

As maître d’ of the Town Point Club in Norfolk for 14 years, Lynnwood Craig always said his goal was “to make everyone who walks through the door feel like we opened the restaurant that night just for them.”

Although he passed away in 2005, Craig is remembered fondly by colleagues and club members for “doing everything with panache,” says John Millicent, club manager from 1991 to 2000.

“I learned from him how to treat guests and what it took to make people feel special,” says Millicent, manager of the Cavalier Golf & Yacht Club in Virginia Beach.

In 2002, the Town Point Club made Craig feel extra special when he retired. Staff surprised him by naming a dining room in his honor and starting the Lynnwood Craig Fund at the Hampton Roads Community Foundation. The club created an endowed charitable fund that provides annual grants to the Virginia chapter of JDRF (formerly the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation) – a cause important to Craig.

“Unrestricted donations like those from the Lynnwood Craig Fund are critical in driving JDRF’s mission to accelerate a life-changing breakthrough to cure, prevent and treat type 1 diabetes,” says Amber Mueller, executive director of JDRF’s Virginia Chapter. So far, the permanent Craig Fund has provided nearly $14,000 in grants to JDRF while growing in value.

Craig’s retirement was short-lived because he missed going to work. In 2003, new club manager Ali Halatayi re-hired Craig to greet guests and make his signature tableside Caesar salad that was celebrated in regional and national publications.

“When it comes to fine dining, Craig was the definition of it.” Halatayi reflected. At the club, Craig oversaw guests’ entire dining experience. He was renowned for his attention to detail, signature tuxedo and the etiquette lessons he taught new staff and club members’ children.

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