SPEF Food for Thought | Dine Locally, Support Schools Sep 24

It’s the perfect way to support the South Pasadena Educational Foundation as 10 percent of the proceeds go back to the organization. SPEF is the fundraising arm of the South Pasadena Unified School District

SouthPasadenan.com News | Stacey Petersen, the executive director for SPEF, encourages South Pasadena residents to support Food for Thought on Tuesday, September 24

A major fundraiser for the South Pasadena Educational Foundation on Tuesday, September 24, will be serving up heaping portions of food and fun.

It’s billed as “One Day, One Cause, One Community,” SPEF’s Food For Thought – a major event in the city featuring restaurants coming together in support of local education.

The event has become a big hit over the years for those looking to dine and support South Pasadena’s public school system.

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SPEF  and the South Pasadena Chamber of Commerce annually coordinate Food For Thought with area eateries while encouraging community members to get out of the house for a night on the town.

“Food For Thought is an excellent way for the community to support our local restaurants and take a break from their own kitchen and to raise money for our five schools,” explained SPEF Executive Director Stacey Petersen. “No meal planning or cleaning up for the day. The biggest decision will be deciding which of the participating 19 restaurants to go to!

The fundraiser provides residents an opportunity to get together throughout the day with family, friends and co-workers by helping to make a difference for students. Participating restaurants donate 10 percent of all sales throughout the day to SPEF.

It’s a win-win-win for everyone involved, insists Petersen.

“The purpose of this event is three-fold,” she explained. “First we want to raise money for our public schools. Second, SPEF firmly believes in supporting our local merchants.  A healthy community has not only successful schools but also thriving businesses. This is one of the reasons that we work with the chamber and they help sponsor this event. Our South Pasadena restaurants give a lot to our schools, so we want to help highlight them and encourage everyone to eat out. Third, we want our families to have fun within their community.”

Food for Thought was the brainchild of Bill Fleming, a former SPEF board member, who launched it about seven years ago, “He had been in the restaurant business in another state where they did something similar,” said Petersen. “The first two years he worked to establish it as a SPEF event and fundraiser and other board members have championed it since.”

This year SPEF board co-chairs Jonathan Eisenberg and Sharmita Saha, along with SPEF officials are operating the event with the local chamber. Funds will go into the SPEF general fund to support a variety of programs and activities.

Will the event be a good time for those in the community? “It’s always fun,” said a smiling Petersen, looking forward to the big event.

Nineteen restaurants are on board this year, including: Berry Opera, Briganti, Cafe X2O, Canoe House, Communal, Cos & Pi, Hi Life, Jersey Mike’s, Jones Coffee, La Fiesta Grande, Lost Parrot Café, Mamma’s Brick Oven, Menchie’s, Mike & Anne’s, Patakan, Pisces Poke, Shakers, Teamorrow, and Munch Company.

For more information, visit: spef4kids.org