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In Memoriam: Nick Vergos


By Tommy Brannon

Scholarship and Memorial Funds Created to Honor Nick Vergos

Memphis restaurateur and food legacy creator Nick Vergos died Thursday September 5, 2019 at the age of 67. The son of Charlie Vergos, founder of the famous Rendezuous restaurant, Nick grew up in the restaurant learning his pit master skills from his father and staff.  A great ambassador for Memphis, Nick was   known as much for his friendliness, generosity, and altruism as his cooking skills.

Nick loved to entertain and feed people. He volunteered his time over the decades to cook at an endless array of charity events across town, often serving The Rendezvous’ world-famous ribs. But he was just as willing to take a background role and assist another chef in the kitchen. His humility was obvious in his generosity and willingness to help.

Nick and I had been friends since our days at White Station High School.  As young adults we shared an interest in fun driving cars, owning the same make and model cars – 1973 BMW 2002, only different colors. I never heard a negative word from Nick. He would always greet everyone with a smile and positive attitude. 

He was a volunteer and supporter of the Make a Wish Foundation for over 20 years.

A statement from Make a Wish Foundation

“It’s impossible to put into words the impact he had on thousands and thousands of families and the amazing joy that he spread. Nick was involved with Make-A-Wish Mid-South for more than 20 years and in his time, helped raise more than $3.5 million for wishes. Year after year, he went above and beyond what anyone would’ve expected to ensure that our wishes were top-notch, our events were well supported and that no child with a critical illness was turned down for a wish.

We are inspired in reflecting on the strength in which he fought his illness. His battle with cancer gave him new eyes to see the challenges of wish kids and the true impact a wish can have in the life of a child. He was so incredibly joyous, compassionate and loving- always storytelling and carving out new support for our organization that he held so dear to his heart.

In his honor, we’re launching the Nick Vergos Wish Memorial Fund. We believe Nick would want to ensure no child is ever turned away from having a wish. His work has forever changed the landscape of Make-A-Wish.”

He was one of the first Volunteers for Southern Reins Center for Equine Therapy.

 A statement from Jill Hagg Executive Director:

“Nick has been involved with Southern Reins since our inception - and was one of the first volunteers to sign up support our participants for our fall 2015 session. He has volunteered in many ways at the farm, including as a Horse Leader and Sidewalker, barn volunteer and event volunteer.  Nick loved to encourage all of his participants, and he forged unforgettable bonds with everyone he helped, as well as the staff and volunteers at Southern Reins.  He especially enjoyed helping the participants from SRVS, as well as those enrolled in our adaptive horseback riding lessons.  Nick was a one-in-a-million, and he will be forever missed by his entire Southern Reins family.
“In honor and in remembrance of our friend and volunteer, Nick Vergos, Southern Reins has created the Nick Vergos Scholarship Fund to provide financial support so individuals with disabilities and financial hardship can participate in equine assisted activities and therapies at Southern Reins.”

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