Community holds benefit for beloved restaurant owners

Perry and Leslie Sligar opened Dippity's restaurant in 1986. It started as a donut shop, but it eventually became one of the most popular burger joints in Lumberton.

"There's hardly anyone in this area that has not eaten at Dippity's at least once," said Shirley Johnson, one of the restaurant's most loyal customers.

After 27 years, Dippity's closed its doors in September. Dealing with major health issues, the Sligars had to move to Baytown to be closer to their doctors in Houston.

"My husband is diabetic and on disability and I've got to have some more neck surgery, so it was time," said Leslie Sligar.

"We couldn't watch (the restaurant) as much, and I didn't want to spoil the name, the reputation, we've struggled a long time to build this reputation," said Leslie's husband Perry.
Knowing the Sligars were struggling, a few faithful customers decided to do something to help.
Saturday they held a link sale at the Lumberton Market Basket to raise money to help cover some of the Sligar's rising healthcare costs.

"Because they've been here for 20-plus years, they're an icon... and they were always here for the community when we needed them," said Johnson.

"After the hurricanes hit, Dippity's was the only place you could get a hot meal for a while," said one supporter.
The Sligars were overwhelmed with the number of people who came to show their support.

"It's fantastic, it's unbelievable," said Perry. "I've fed all these people... It's sad, but I thank them, thank them a lot."

"What goes around comes around, and it has really come around for us, I'm so happy," said Leslie.



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