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Chef Emeril Lagasse Hosts Seaside Neighborhood School Fundraiser

December 18, 2013 by SoWal Staff

Emeril Lagasse is one of our favorite TV personalities and one of our favorite chefs. He's also become a great friend and neighbor here in South Walton. His generosity is well known from his efforts to help others through the Emeril Lagasse Foundation.

Established in 2002, the foundation supports non-profit organizations and educational initiatives that create new opportunities for children, especially for those from disadvantaged circumstances, in the communities where Emeril’s restaurants operate.

Emeril recently helped the Seaside School Foundation raise more than $143,000 to kick off the $4 million campaign, Investing in our Children, Community and Future, whose goal is to create a comprehensive K through 12 charter school system in SoWal.

Chef Emeril took to the kitchen and made the rounds at Fish Out of Water at the WaterColor Inn & Resort. The goal of the campaign is to raise $4 million to expand the top-ranked Seaside Neighborhood School to a comprehensive K through 12 charter school system. Thanks to a few early lead gifts from 33 families, friends and corporate partners, the Seaside School Foundation has raised more than $2.3 million toward the goal.

During the kick-off celebration, Chef Emeril, along with Fish Out of Water's Chef Brian Murray, prepared an exquisite meal for  89 guests. Seaside School Board member Jane Solomon began the evening by welcoming guests followed by a champagne toast by Chefs Lagasse and Murray. Fred Maglione, President of OmegaFi, discussed the history and progress of the Seaside School expansion effort and the ambitious $4 million capital campaign.

The $4 million capital campaign will expand the high-achieving academic curriculum and success of the Seaside Neighborhood School to offer K-12 education for students in South Walton County. Plans include a new elementary school campus and further expansion of the recently opened Seacoast Collegiate High School.

"Meaningful education for the children of South Walton County is a cause my wife, Alden, and I want to support in any way we can," explained Emeril. The Seaside Neighborhood School is doing incredible things for our community, and its programs should be expanded and available to more students.  I'm proud of the money raised tonight, and I look forward to being a part of a successful campaign to enhance education in the community."

For more information about the Investing in our Children, Community and Future Campaign, The Seaside Community Foundation and the Seaside Neighborhood School, please visit www.seasideschoolfoundation.org.

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