Employee Lisa Bateman has been greeting customers at the Burger King in Tappahannock since 1987 with a grin and a kind welcome: whatever the weather conditions — rain, snow, cold, or heat – the 60-year-old lady walks about a mile to and from work every day.
“She knows what I’m ordering,” remarked Jaki Vazquez, a customer, and continued “in response to my voice, she asks, ‘Do you want the usual?’.”
What began as a Facebook post has grown into a community-wide campaign to gather funds to purchase a new automobile for Bateman: “We were able to raise just a little bit more than $4,200 for her,” Vazquez added.
The customer, Jason Cunningham, expressed his gratitude by saying, “I see her walking all the time and I thought it would be nice to do something like this for someone in the community.”
On what started as a usual day, Bateman was presented with a vehicle donated by members of her neighborhood: “We as a community of Tappahannock wanted to express our gratitude to you for your hard work and for always providing us with great energy,” Vazquez said as she handed the keys to Bateman.
Bateman burst out laughing and at the same time into tears of happiness: “I genuinely appreciate what I do, and it makes me happy when I am able to make others happy,” Bateman added.
Bateman has walked down Tappahannock Boulevard to work every day for the past seven years, “I simply look at it this way: as long as my tiny legs can carry me, I’m going to do it, I’m going to go to work.”
She also works part-time at a Wendy’s restaurant in the neighborhood and has said that she will continue to work until she is unable to do so due to physical limitations.