Adding Pounds to Save Eateries
Leave it to the founder of the South Beach Wine & Food Festival to come up with a way to raise money to help the beleaguered restaurants of our community. On a Sunday afternoon in late April, Coral Gables resident and bon vivant Lee Schrager began a weekly baked goods sale in front of his house on Hardee Road, dubbed “Putting on the Pounds.” By the time the last sale had taken place at the end of May – actually on Schrager’s birthday – the weekly event had raised thousands of dollars for the SOBEWFF & FIU Chaplin School Hospitality Industry Relief Fund. Combined with other donations, the fund has raised more than $1.7 million, granted to 500 independently owned restaurants in South Florida.
“I can’t help but reflect on the great disco hit, I Will Survive, when I think about the many local restaurant and bar owners who are doing everything they can to reopen and make it in this crazy new normal,” said Schrager, who moved to his home in the French Country Village neighborhood five years ago. He launched his street-side bake sale to support “the people who have always been there to serve us.” Dollars were raised by selling $25 bags of goodies donated by a slew of South Florida food icons, including Coyo Taco, Night Owl Cookies, The Salty Donut, Hy Vong, Knaus Berry Farm, Finka Table & Tap and pastry chef Hedy Goldsmith, with matching funds from Badia Spices. For more information about the Fund – to donate or to apply for a relief grant – visit www.sobewff.org/industry-relief.