Experience Grand Rapids today announced their Restaurant Week Grand Rapids (RWGR) 2018 donation to the Secchia Institute for Culinary Education (SICE) Student Scholarship Fund at GRCC. According to President & CEO of Experience GR Doug Small, “The Endowed Restaurant Week GR Scholarship Fund at GRCC Foundation now totals $159,428 with today’s 2018 event contribution of $16,322. Eighty participating restaurants and six sponsors of the event helped contribute to the fund this year.” Sponsors included Gordon Food Service, AHC + Hospitality, Michigan Restaurant Association, Great Lakes Wine & Spirits, Joel Gott Wines and Black Star Farms.
Accepting the donation check on behalf of Grand Rapids Community College Foundation was Dr. Kathryn Mullins, VP of College Advancement & GRCC Foundation Executive Director. Mullins and Small presented scholarships to 8 students who each received $1,000 to help support their continuing studies in GRCC’s SICE program. This year marks more students than ever before receiving scholarships from the fund.
Amanda Barnett, one of the students who was a past award recipient of the Restaurant Week GR SICE scholarship in 2017, stated, “Thanks to generous gifts like this one, I was able to work fewer hours last semester and focus even more on my classes. One thing I always think is, ‘I am here to learn, and I want to remember everything I am learning!’ That is so hard to do when you feel busy and tired. Scholarships truly do help me, and many other students, to work fewer hours and focus more on school. Thank you again to Experience GR and all of the area restaurants that inspire us to be better and for making this scholarship possible.”
The 9thannual Restaurant Week GR event took place from August 8 – 21 and included a record 80 participating restaurants who donated $1 for each Restaurant Week meal sold at their establishments.
The 2018 event featured a new ‘Chef’s Choice’ option that gave chef’s the opportunity to offer multiple creative courses at various prices, which helped contribute to higher guest participation and more restaurants taking part in RWGR. Doug Small stated, “We added a new ‘Chef’s Choice’ option to the Restaurant Week mix, and many restaurants took the opportunity to create cool, one-of-a-kind dishes and dining experiences that brought hungry customers out in droves.”
This is the eighth year that students have been awarded scholarship money from the SICE Student Scholarshipendowed fund established by Restaurant Week GR in 2010.Forty students have been awarded scholarships from 2011 – 2018.
In 2019, the 10thanniversary of Restaurant Week GR will be held from August 7 – 18, 2019.