What does philanthropy mean to you?

What does philanthropy mean to you? https://wahospitality.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/donate-thinkstock480-480x198.jpg

By Lyle Hildahl, director of the WRA Education Foundation

When people think about philanthropy, images of extravagant fundraisers, large foundations and substantial endowments often come to mind. Although philanthropy often expresses the benevolence and good intentions of successful corporations, the lion’s share of the American philanthropic spirit is voiced through the generosity of citizens and small businesses who want to give back. In 2012, the largest source of charitable giving came from individuals. Nearly 88 percent of households in America provided donations to services and causes that they considered important. Although the current economic climate has recently challenged people’s ability to give, statistics show that Americans still consider nonprofits as a vitally important sector of the American economic landscape.

The Washington Restaurant Association Education Foundation (WRA EF) is a dynamic part of the hospitality equation in Washington state. The EF bridges solutions for the growth of the hospitality industry through training and education. The Foundation also plays an integral role in the future of the state’s restaurant industry by developing and supporting culinary arts and hospitality management training in 50 high schools in Washington. At the same time, the EF works tirelessly to meet the educational needs of restaurateurs across the state through alcohol and food rules training for their staff. In return, the Foundation needs your support.

The WRA EF needs individuals and small businesses to make the choice to give back and participate in fundraising initiatives while also providing direct donations. Without the active involvement of industry members like you, the Foundation’s ability to thrive and make a difference becomes challenged. In turn, vital programs like ProStart, which directs and prepares youth for successful careers in the hospitality industry, become tested. Supporting the Education Foundation allows you to have a hand in preparing the young men and women who will populate your workforce in just a few short years. Your support allows the Foundation to pursue the best training options in the nation and bring them directly to Washington. For almost a decade, Washington schools have shown to be some of the strongest contenders at national culinary competitions, while at the same time winning many other accolades and awards. This is a direct result of the efforts of the EF, which now needs your help to keep these programs alive.

The good news is that there are plenty of easy and mutually beneficial ways you can help keep the EF working hard for the industry. Currently the Foundation is selling raffle tickets for a 2008 Shelby Mustang for $75. By purchasing a ticket, not only do you get a chance to win a classic American car, but you’ll be supporting culinary students throughout Washington. Contact the WRA to find out how we can get your ticket to you. We also ask that you promote this raffle in all of your locations as well as encouraging the sale of multiple tickets throughout your own local networks.

Another way you can support the Foundation is by participating in the Golf FORE! Education tournament on September 11, 2018 at the Washington National Golf Club. Consider sponsoring a hole on the course or entering a team. Your participation in this year’s tournament will go a long way toward sustaining the future of this industry for years to come.

Your options don’t end there, though. Supporting the Foundation can be as simple as directing your employees to the Education EF’s training programs. Actively promoting ServSafe Alcohol, Serve Safe Manager and the Foundation’s Hospitality Industry Workplace Safety program achieves two objectives simultaneously. On one hand, you are enthusiastically supporting the Foundation; on the other hand, you are receiving the best and most complete training programs available in the nation. It’s a win for both you and the EF, and we sincerely ask you for your continued use and support of these programs.

The restaurant industry is the largest employer in Washington and, as such, the Education Foundation’s ability to serve you, our members, has a crucial effect on many people throughout the state. Help us to continue helping you, and consider buying a ticket, playing a round of golf and promoting the Foundation’s programs. Contact the Washington Restaurant Association’s Education Foundation today, and ask how you can make a difference.

(Washington Restaurant Magazine, July 2013)

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