Jenna Dupuy, 9, took on the role of hostess at Z'Tejas Southwestern Grill in Costa Mesa, greeting guests as they walked through the door Wednesday night.
Jenna, along with about 10 children ranging in age from 8 to 14, shadowed servers, food runners, busboys and hosts at Z'Tejas in support of Team Kids, an Irvine-based nonprofit that gets children involved in the community, learn essential life skills and help the less fortunate.
"The whole purpose is to give kids, at a young age when they care so much about making a difference, a chance to truly have an opportunity to affect change and contribute to serve in a valuable way," said Julie Hudah, founder of Team Kids.
FOR THE RECORD:
An earlier version incorrectly gave photo credit to Jenna Satariano. In fact, Brittany Woolsey took the pictures.
While Team Kids usually raises money for other efforts, such as Haiti or Japan relief, this time it raised money directly for Team Kids.
As part of Z'Tejas' annual Chile Fest, $1 from each item sold on the Chile Fest menu was donated to Team Kids. The eatery will continue to donate to Team Kids until Sept. 23.
"We wanted to do something with the community and look into a foundation that helps the community," said General Manager Jeffrey Grasso. "Having the kids from Team Kids in the public eye is going to be exciting for them."
"It's wonderful to start kids off young, knowing that they can grow into socially responsible adults who can give back to the community," said server Kristen Trowbridge.
Trowbridge and the other servers donated all of her tips from the evening to Team Kids.
Sara Marshall, 13, of Newport Beach shadowed Trowbridge.
"I'm excited to get experience as a server, just in case I have to get a job as one in high school or college," she said.
Team Kids will partner with the Irvine Police Department on Sunday for the Tournament of Heroes charity softball event.
Money raised at the event will support the Semper Fi Fund, which provides financial support for wounded veterans and their families.
For more information about Team Kids, visit TeamKids.org.