Giving Your Best: Ronnie Burley - WJBF-TV ABC 6 Augusta-Aiken

Giving Your Best: Ronnie Burley

By Jennie Montgomery

Are you getting hungry about now? You can bet this month's Giving Your Best winner is really busy right about now, serving up dinner at the Doubletree Hotel!

Ronnie Burley's story is awesome in itself: the man who started out in his field as a dishwasher.... and in time, with dedication and hard work, ended up wearing the head chef's hat.

But Ronnie is more than a success story in this town: he is someone who has taken life lessons and shares them with kids in Richmond County schools.

Terry Moore met Burley as a patron in the restaurant.

"He just sets a perfect atmosphere, the food is good, you talk to him and he's kind, his staff is very kind to us."

Terry and his wife, Angela, were impressed with Burley from the start.

Ronnie Burley says it's a simple formula.

"Hard work pays off, you've just gotta be dedicated and sometimes you've gotta give back."

Like giving kids a chance at new opportunities. He did that for the Moore's son.

"My son came down and did an interview with him and he hired him to give him an opportunity to have a job and excel instead of being just another kid trying to find a job, so he actually made a difference in our lives and he also talks to the kids and helps them stay on the right track."

Burley says when you love what you do, it's easy.

"First of all you've just gotta have that passion, not only that you're gotta love this business and if you love it as much as I do, you don't have a problem giving back."

Ronnie gives back by being a mentor to kids and speaking at area schools, despite long hours as Head Chef at Augusta's Doubletree Hotel.

Angela Moore says it's about much more than teaching food preparation.

"With that mentorship and interaction that Mr. Burley gives the kids, that just means so much. Taking time, cause he has a hectic schedule as a head chef, being able to go to schools and mentor the kids means so much."

Husband Terry agrees.

"People like that, it actually brings a lot to the kids and the neighborhoods, it shows them that people do care about them."

"Volunteering makes a difference. I tell ya, just taking the time to do that, you know it lets you know where his heart is and his dedication is."

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