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National Restaurant Association - Restaurateurs pay fortune forward

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Restaurateurs pay fortune forward

When David Tevet was honored this year for the charitable work he does to help feed hungry children, he said he couldn’t have done it had he not owned a restaurant.

Tevet, an Israeli immigrant who came to the United States in 1981, was one of a handful of restaurateurs recognized by the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation at its 2015 Industry Awards gala. His “Dinners for Kids” program serves more than 37,000 meals a year throughout northeastern Pennsylvania.

“The chef and his team prepare the dinners,” he said. “Our other staff members get the delivery boxes ready for the volunteers and help drivers load their cars. Without their constant participation, this program would not run as smoothly as it does.”

The NRAEF is now encouraging restaurateurs, like Tevet, to share the stories of their charitable works by nominating themselves or a colleague for a 2016 Restaurant Neighbor, Ambassador of Hospitality or Faces of Diversity American Dream award. Application and nomination forms are available at NRAEF.org/Awards until Oct. 30.

“This program acknowledges the humanitarians in our industry who are making an impact in their organizations or communities every day,” said Rob Gifford, executive vice president of strategic operations and philanthropy for the NRA and NRAEF

Celebrating its 18th year, the Restaurant Neighbor Award, in partnership with American Express, honors the philanthropic efforts of restaurateurs. Awards are given in three categories: small, mid-size and large business/national chain. Winners receive $5,000 to support their charitable works.

The Faces of Diversity program, sponsored by PepsiCo Foodservice, shares the stories of individuals who have achieved their own personal American Dream in the restaurant industry through hard work and perseverance. Each winner receives $2,500 presented as a scholarship to a culinary student in his or her name.

The Ambassador of Hospitality Award is bestowed on an individual for his or her extraordinary achievement and exemplary leadership in the restaurant and hospitality industry.

“The restaurant industry is one of the most diverse in the nation, full of opportunity for many people in different stages of life,” Gifford said. “Our awards program recognizes those folks and their stories of achievement.”

The awards will be presented at the NRA’s 2016 Public Affairs Conference next April. For more information about the awards program, visit NRAEF.org/Awards.

Pictured top right: Ollie's owner David Tevet prepares meals for his Dinner for Kids program; Above right: Tevet, second from right, with NRA CEO Dawn Sweeney, right, his wife Edna, second from left, and American Express' Danielle Wallis, left, at this year's awards gala.

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