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The Immokalee Foundation invites the community to ‘Dine for a Cause’ at 30 local restaurants

By Staff | Oct 11, 2021

Thirty local restaurants are donating 10 to 35% of their sales during The Immokalee Foundation’s Dine for a Cause event Oct. 13-17, to celebrate the foundation’s 30th anniversary. The proceeds will fund The Immokalee Foundation’s mission of forging new pathways to success and financial independence for the youth of Immokalee.

“Dine for a Cause represents the power of collaboration between a nonprofit organization, business owners and the Southwest Florida community as a whole,” said Marie Hernandez Rubenstein, director of philanthropy at The Immokalee Foundation. “Not only does it raise money for our programs, it also encourages the community to support their favorite restaurants, which have faced many challenges during the past year. We are very grateful for the generosity of these 30 restauranteurs and chefs.”

Dine for a Cause restaurants include many local favorites offering a variety of cuisine – from burgers and barbecue, pizza and pasta, French and other international flavors to casual and fine dining options. Each restaurant has agreed to donate a percentage of its breakfast, lunch and/or dinner sales on select dates. A complete list of restaurants is available at immokaleefoundation.org/dine30.

Chef Andy Hyde from Hyde N Chic in Naples is donating 35% of his Oct. 13 dinner receipts and plans to create a culinary scholarship program through The Immokalee Foundation at the culinary accelerator in Immokalee.

“Action speaks louder than words,” said Hyde who knows firsthand the struggles children can face in achieving their potential. “Anything I can do for the community, I will. It’s very important for me to support The Immokalee Foundation and show children the value of living in the greatest country in the world. I was a scrawny little kid growing up in Africa. I’m living proof of what can happen when you work hard and take advantage of every opportunity.”

Danny Gonzalez’ family-run Lozano’s Mexican Restaurant has served Immokalee for over 20 years, providing jobs and community support. By participating in Dine for a Cause during lunch Oct. 15, he is helping his hometown.

“I was a farmworker and I understand how hard it is to rise above the challenges and move ahead,” Gonzalez said. “You can be what you want to in life. I’m proud of what I’ve done. Immokalee is a small town, you know everybody. There’s been good times and bad times, but I’ve always been supported by the people here.”

Naples restauranteur Ingrid Aielli is a long-time advocate of The Immokalee Foundation and educational opportunities. In fact, philanthropy is engrained in the business model of the four restaurants she operates with her husband, celebrated chef Fabrizio Aielli. The popular Naples establishments – Sea Salt, Dorona, Barbatella and Grappino – are part of Dine for a Cause, with one a day donating 10% of lunch and dinner sales from Oct. 14-17.

“We believe it is our responsibility to give back to the people who have supported us for so many years,” said Ingrid Aelli. “Philanthropy is second nature to us – it’s an important part of our business philanthropy.”

About The Immokalee Foundation

For more than 30 years, The Immokalee Foundation has provided a range of education programs that focus on building pathways to professional careers through support, mentoring and tutoring, and life skills development leading to economic independence. To learn more about The Immokalee Foundation, becoming a mentor, its signature events, volunteering as a career panel speaker or host, making a donation, including the foundation in your estate plans, or for additional information, call 239-430-9122 or visit immokaleefoundation.org.