Sean Rice received a Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office citizens award March 13 for helping deputy Dan Whitt, a husband and father of four, in a struggle for his life.
Whitt is battling cancer.
Rice hosted a fish fry at his Brandon establishment, O’Brien’s Irish Pub & Family Restaurant, and donated $30,000 to Whitt’s family.
The reason Rice gave for performing this heroic act was that he, too, has had family members and a business partner who were blindsided by cancer.
But helping others is not unusual for Rice.
O’Brien’s Irish Pub & Family Restaurant is a hub for more than a dozen clubs and organizations, including several Gasparilla krewes and the Brandon British Club.
A pastor leads Church at the Bar services there once a month.
Rice’s place supports Metropolitan Ministries, the Emergency Care Help Organization, Community Roundtable, Brandon Outreach Clinic, the Crisis Center of Tampa Bay and a Kid’s Place and Boys & Girls Clubs of Tampa Bay.
Rice has hosted fundraisers for individuals with brain injuries and candidates for honorary mayor of Brandon, because giving back to the community is the right thing to do, he said.
“When you’re recognized and honored, it’s very humbling, and you feel very grateful,” he said in a prepared statement. “The recognition truly belongs to our generous patrons, because without their contributions and support, we would have no funds to turn over to these families and charities in need.”
He’s already preparing the next event, the KenDucky Derby on May 4 at O’Brien’s Irish Pub, 701 W. Lumsden Road. The public is invited to help meet Rice’s projected goal of raising $20,000 for Miles for Moffitt and Moffitt Cancer Center.
For information, visit www.obrienspubsbrandon.com or call (813) 961-9688.