OC Gives Back
Orange County’s restaurant industry is a stronghold of community engagement and philanthropy. It is evidenced most recently, in the hundreds of Chefs and supporters who
participated in the fundraiser to help Restaurateur Bruno Serato, whose culinary home burned down on Feb 4. The funds raised benefited Serato’s nonprofit, Caterina’s Club, and
the Anaheim White House employees. Twenty two restaurants held tastings during the charity fundraiser and so far, Serato’s GoFundMe page has raised over $150,000.
There are countless ways to give back. Charity dinners like Illumination Foundation’s “Table for Ten” propel the OC dining scene; tasting events, such as, Share Our Selves’ “Wild
& Crazy Taco Night,” unite Chefs with altruistic taco lovers. In addition to the events that are produced by nonprofits, restaurants have plenty of opportunities to host in-house,
Still scratching your head for ways to give back? Take a look at how these OC restaurants have donated their time and effort to deserving beneficiaries:
INVEST IN A VEST
DICKEY’S BARBEQUE PIT
In partnership with Angel Armor, Dickey’s charitable foundation, Barbeque, Boots & Badges, has initiated “Invest in a Vest,” which donates ballistic body armor to police officers.
PANCAKE DAY 2017
SNOOZE, AN A.M. EATERY
This annual pancake-a-palooza showcases a “sushi-style” pancake menu that donated 100 percent of all pancake sales to Tustin Ranch Elementary this year.
ANNUAL TOY DRIVE
CHA CHA’S LATIN KITCHEN & BRUNO’S ITALIAN KITCHEN
As a finale to the community-driven toy drive, Cha Cha’s hosts a Christmas meal for benefiting families, featuring signature dishes and a visit from Santa Claus.
SHUCK-IT EVENT & JULEN’S AWESOME SAUCE
WAYS & MEANS OYSTER HOUSE
The Huntington Beach location hosts an annual Shuck-It Event, where the Huntington Beach Fire Department, Police Department and Lifeguards take part in an oyster eating contest that donates $3 of every oyster eaten to a charity of their choice. Ways & Means also sells Julen’s Awesome Sauce in-house, of which all proceeds go to autism research.
CHOWDER FOR A CAUSE
FLY-N-FISH OYSTER BAR
This annual event takes place every October for National Seafood Month and teams up with local purveyors, such as Santa Monica Seafood, to donate clams for charity. Proceeds from every bowl of new England Clam Chowder is donated to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
B. GIVING INITIATIVE
During the holidays, a portion of their sales went
toward UCI MIND — a research organization, based
in UC Irvine, that studies Alzheimer’s Disease.
The Grand Opening Celebration for the Crystal Cove location donated 100 percent of raffle ticket sales to SchoolPower, an education-based, nonprofit charity in Laguna Beach.
SOLFUL, BARKS OF LOVE ANIMAL RESCUE & FENDER MUSIC FOUNDATION
THE PUBLIC HOUSE BY EVANS BREWING CO.
Partnering with local nonprofit, Fullerton Collaborative, The Public House’s Grand Opening
raised funds for SOLFUL (Summer of Love Fullerton), a summer school program. They have
also hosted fundraisers for Barks of Love Animal Rescue, a no-kill nonprofit; and Fender Music Foundation, which donates instruments to local schools that can’t afford them.
BOY SCOUT PIZZA FUNDRAISER
SKOSH MONAHAN’S STEAKHOUSE & IRISH PUB
On Super Bowl Sunday, proceeds from pizza sales were donated to Boy Scout Troop 106 “Eastside Costa Mesa.”
PORTILLO’S FOR GOOD
Portillo’s for Good is a donation program that local and national non-profits can partner with the brand to assist fundraising and charitable giving programs. Its first initiative partnered with the American Red Cross for “Cake for a Cause,” where a portion of the Heart-Shaped Cakes (pictured) sold during Valentine’s Day was donated to the ARC.
PAY WHAT YOU WANT
For the Grand Opening of the Irvine Harvard Place location, the “Pay What You Want” fundraiser raised over $5,000 for Culverdale Elementary, Meadow Park Elementary and Stone Creek Elementary.