Big Thanks for Friends and Ben Event

This time of year is full of events, fundraisers, and more. Everything is competing for your time and dollar. It is just as bad for chefs and restaurant industry who often find themselves double or triple booked for events.
Despite all that over 150 people generous caring people came out. 9 different restaurants donated their time, energy, and resources to help support a fellow restaurant industry colleague in need. Several great people around the industry donated items for silent auction and gave money in sponsorships. Finally a ton of volunteers all came together to support our industry friend Ben Edwards in his recovery last night.
Combined the event was able to raise over $30,000 for Ben’s ongoing recovery. It was one of the most inspiring moments I have ever been a part of.
The combined effort seemed inspiring to Ben as well. If you remember from his story, Ben is a native of California who moved to Arkansas to be close to his sister. His sister’s husband was recently deployed to Germany taking his only family with him. With the overwhelming generosity and family like atmosphere of the local restaurant industry Ben says he plans to stay in Little Rock after his treatments. It is a testament to how well the Little Rock community cares for its own.
Big thanks overall to the Capital Hotel who donated their space and Ben E Keith Foods who helped organize the event. Chefs from One Eleven, Capital Bar and Grill, South on Main, The Pantry, Yellow Rocket Concepts, Pine Bluff Country Club, and At the Corner who made food along with Ciao Baci who made cocktails for the event.
Sponsors of the event included Southern Glazer’s, Arkansas Craft Beer, Red Door Gallery, George O’Connor, Rusty Mathis, De Nux Distributing, Laura and Mark Doramus, Michael and Nancy Chaffin, David and Donna Cone, The Hickinbotham Family, David and Joyce Orf, John Wade, and Jason and Kim Polk who all gave above and beyond to help support the event. Taziki’s, Cajun’s Wharf, Copper Grill, Caper’s, Floral Express, Crush Wine Bar, Tal Webb, Jamie McAfee, Arthur’s Steakhouse, Bernardus, Liz Ransom, Tom O’Neal Photography, Evynn LeValley Photography, and Pebble Beach Food and Wine also all donated items for the silent auction.
Finally thanks to everyone who took the time to come out and be a part of the event. You were able to turn an unfortunate accident into an inspiring showing of generosity that all of us will not forget.
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