In 2017 alone, the Emeril Lagasse Foundation has been fortunate enough to donate over $1.8 million to 36 deserving non-profit organizations that support our mission of inspiring, mentoring and enabling youth to reach their fullest potential.
As we approach the New Year, we’d like to take a look back on this record-breaking year of giving that has impacted hundreds of youth across the Gulf Coast and beyond, and give thanks to all who helped make it possible.
At the beginning of 2017, the Foundation hosted its inaugural fundraising event, Line, Vine & Dine in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The first annual charity fishing tournament and celebrity seafood cook-off raised over $650,000 in support of local charities Arc Broward and Dan Marino Foundation, who were recently spotlighted here.
Shortly after, continuing our commitment to the Gulf Coast region, the Foundation hosted the 11th annual Chi Chi Miguel Weekend in Santa Rosa Beach. The three-day BBQ cook-off and wine auction raised a record-breaking $900,000 for children’s charities, with more than half the proceeds staying in Okaloosa and Walton Counties.
Organizations that benefited from the annual event included Emerald Coast Children’s Advocacy Center, Camille’s Art for Autism, Sinfonia Gulf Coast, Alaqua Animal Refuge, Food for Thought Outreach, the Ingram Lee Foundation, Pathways for Change and Children’s Volunteer Health Network.
Then in November, closing out the year with the grand finale of fundraising efforts, the Foundation once again hosted one of New Orleans’ biggest fêtes: the 13th annual Boudin, Bourbon & Beer and Carnivale du Vin. The fundraising weekend set a record, raising $3.5 million that will provide funding for grants and beneficiaries through 2018 and beyond.
We owe the incredible success of this year’s giving to our many supporters who continue to believe in the mission of this Foundation,” said Brian Kish, president of the Emeril Lagasse Foundation. “A tremendous thank you to our generous donors, board members and community partners who graciously give back year after year, and to our winemakers, chefs and sponsors who are crucial to the success of our annual fundraising events – it wouldn’t be possible without you, and we hope you share in this pride as well.
While 2017 provided numerous celebratory moments, it also brought its share of hardships in the form of hurricanes impacting our friends in Texas, Louisiana and Florida and wildfires devastating the winemaking communities of Napa and Sonoma. In response to these unprecedented natural disasters, the Emeril Lagasse Foundation was honored to provide additional funding to organizations including the American Red Cross and Second Harvest Food Bank for Hurricane Harvey relief, as well as Napa Valley Community Foundation and the Community Foundation of Sonoma County for wildfire recovery efforts.
As we celebrate the holidays and an incredible year of philanthropy, the Emeril Lagasse Foundation gives thanks for the countless hours of dedicated work and generosity that made 2017 one for the record books. We look forward to an even more prosperous 2018 and encourage you to learn more about the causes we support here.
Wishing a happy holiday to you and yours!