EMERIL LAGASSE FOUNDATION AWARDS OVER $500,000 IN GRANTS TO FUND CULINARY EDUCATION AND SUMMER CAMP PROGRAMSPosted by: Terrance Pitre
Total Granted Since January 2006 is Now Over $1 millionNEW ORLEANS, LA (May 9, 2007) – Chef Emeril Lagasse announced today over $500,000 in grants donated by his Foundation toward culinary education and children’s summer programs in the New Orleans area at a reception at Emeril’s Restaurant. With this round of grants, over $1 million has been awarded by the Emeril Lagasse Foundation to New Orleans children’s organizations since January 2006.The programs receiving support will provide New Orleans youth with fun, safe and educational activities during summer break and allow for capital improvement of existing innovative projects. St. Michael Special School, a longtime beneficiary of Chef Emeril Lagasse, will receive funds to renovate its life skills academic lab and kitchen. The Edible Schoolyard at Green Charter School will be able to build an outdoor classroom to serve as the focal point of its edible garden.Additionally, the Foundation will fund an exciting culinary arts pilot program at New Orleans Center for Creative Arts (NOCCA). Guest instructor Scott Parker from Lagasse’s alma mater Johnson and Wales University will lead the summer session for culinary students at NOCCA.In response to the need for quality summer programming, the foundation is now the title sponsor of the summer arts camp at the Contemporary Arts Center. Also, the foundation contributed $100,000 to the Unified Summer Grants Collaborative, as part of its joint project with Greater New Orleans Afterschool Partnership, Save the Children and United Way for the Greater New Orleans Area. This grant will fund over 20 summer camps impacting over 1,400 children. Other beneficiaries are long time groups the foundation has supported, including God’s Vineyard Seven Pepper Hot Sauce Project and New Orleans Outreach.“I’m honored to be able to support the great work that these organizations are doing in our city, offering their hearts and passion to the rebuilding efforts in New Orleans. We must work hard to inspire the children of this community to become future leaders of our region. I’m very excited to be involved with programs that I strongly feel enhance our community overall,” said Chef Emeril Lagasse, chairman.This funding is made possible from dollars raised at the foundation’s annual event Carnivale du Vin. In 2006, Carnivale du Vin raised an overwhelming $2.5 million in the city of New Orleans, and was ranked fourth by Wine Spectator as one of the “Top Ten U.S. Charity Auctions,” making it a top wine event in the country. The third annual event will be held on November 2 and 3, 2007 at the Hilton New Orleans Riverside. For ticket information, call (504) 212-2222 or visit www.emeril.org.About the Emeril Lagasse Foundation (ELF): The Emeril Lagasse Foundation seeks to inspire, mentor and enable all young people, especially those from disadvantaged circumstances, to realize their full potential as productive and creative individuals. The foundation supports and encourages programs creating developmental and educational opportunities for children within communities where Emeril’s restaurants operate.The Emeril Lagasse Foundation was established in the Spring of 2002, and is the realization of Chef Emeril’s dream to improve the quality of young people’s lives. His continuous efforts to support and be actively involved with children’s charities allows him the opportunity to not only raise funds for his Foundation, but to create partnerships that help others with their own charitable endeavors. The Foundation combines the energy and passion of Chef Emeril, along with that of his many friends and partners, in order to have greater impact on the communities where Emeril’s restaurants operate, and to benefit the charitable recipients it supports.Through innovative partnerships, programs and special events, along with support from corporate and individual donations, the Emeril Lagasse Foundation embraces a unique opportunity to grant funds to children’s organizations that have a culinary and/or educational component, and to eventually enrich the lives of many young people through the creative art of cooking so that they may look towards a future of creativity, opportunity and hope.For more information on the Emeril Lagasse Foundation, please visit www.emeril.org.