Whenever restaurants and chefs give back to the community, by participating in fundraisers, I like to toot their horns. When it’s my friends who are doing this, I really let the world (well, the world that is the Triangle) know. Here are two great examples.
Ashley Christensen of Poole’s Diner is very passionate about giving back to the community. I’ve asked her to donate her time for fundraisers, and she’s always come through. She’s particularly devoted to the Frankie Lemmon School and Foundation, but this time around, she’s not cooking for a cause, she’s going to sit her butt on a fitness cycle and spin away, trying to raise TEN THOUSAND DOLLARS to support the building of a children’s playground. She’s less than a thousand dollars from her goal, so please go to this site and make a donation.
Another good friend is Parker Kennedy, the owner of downtown Raleigh’s Caffe Luna. I first met Parker in the weeks before he first opened, over 10 years ago. Caffe Luna was opening in a location that was cursed, many said, as multiple restaurants opened and quickly closed in that spot. Caffe Luna is now one of the most successful restaurants in Raleigh, and many restaurants subsequently opened in the area, and thrived. I think Caffe Luna’s success laid the ground work for many of these other places.
What you may not know about Caffe Luna is that they also give back to the community. They have raised untold thousands of dollars for Shaw University. They’re big supporters of the Raleigh Arts community. And now they’re doing a big fundraiser for the people of Haiti. Next Tuesday, March 30th, Caffe Luna will feed all comers at Marbles Kids Museum in downtown Raleigh from 6 to 8 PM. Dinner includes pasta, salad, wine, beer, tea and dessert. Caffe Luna is donating 100% of the food and beverages and is not keeping one penny. Marbles is donating the space. The cost is $30 for adults and $10 for kids 12 and under. All proceeds will go to the Hope for Haiti Foundation, a non-profit based in Cary. Tickets can be purchased online at http://www.firstgiving.com/benefittosupporthaitifamilies. Heck, even Firstgiving isn’t taking a cut from this. Right now, they haven’t sold many tickets, and maybe that’s because people think that Haiti has raised plenty of money, but that’s not the case. They need help, and this is an easy way to provide it.
So let’s help these establishments, when they’re giving back to the community. We’re the beneficiaries of their food, and we need to help them when they’re doing the right thing.