Epicurean Charitable Foundation has donated more than $1 million to philanthropic local partners including Make-A-Wish Foundation, Lied Discovery Children’s Museum, UNLV Rebel Athletic Foundation, Nevada Blind Children’s Foundation, Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health and The Las Vegas Latin Chamber of Commerce.
ECF was named the Nevada Blind Children Foundation’s Conner Award Honoree in 2012 and helped to provide the food and drinks for the third-annual LadyBug Ball. ECF is also proud to have partnered with Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino to host a Wish-Granting Ball in 2008 to celebrate the 1,000th wish granted by Make-A-Wish Foundation in the Las Vegas Vallley.
Along with donations, ECF encourages it’s students to “pay it forward” by giving back to the community that has supported them.
National Philanthropy Day
Student and board members of Epicurean Charitable Foundation (ECF) recently honored National Philanthropy Day by volunteering their time at a local soup kitchen on Friday, Nov. 15 and Friday, Dec. 1 ECF prepared and served hundreds of meals in coordination with Catholic Charities of Southern Nevada, one of the largest nonprofit social services providers in the state.
One of the volunteering students, Nachely Martinez, took the time to share her experience volunteering and the personal connection she felt with St. Lied Dining Facility:
UNLV, Class of 2013 (Dec.)
Majoring in Hospitality Management with a minor in Spanish
- Describe your time volunteering at St. Lied Dining Facility with ECF for National Philanthropy Day. How did the experience impact you?
“Volunteering at St. Lied was definitely an eye-opening experience for me personally. When my family first moved to this country, we often sat in the waiting room of Catholic Charities hoping for our names to be called to receive canned food and pantry items because we didn’t have much food. Being there again 15 years later able to give back reminded me of where I come from, and how a little help can go a long way in appreciation from the community.”
- How important is it to you to give back to the community through ECF?
“Part of being a student of ECF is giving back to the community which has supported our careers and will continue to witness our growth. I think it’s a great way to say thank you, to help out the families that will raise future generations and get in touch with the community.”
- What was the reaction of the diners to your participation, and what did other ECF students say about the experience?
“Everyone at St. Lied Dining Facility was very thankful. All of the students and board members were ready to work and eagerly looking for ways to stay busy and get as much done as possible in the time we were there. Overall, everyone felt touched to be there, knowing that no matter how little time you put into something like this, you’re helping out and giving back to the less fortunate. My peers commented about wanting to do more volunteering events in the near future and even helping at St. Lied again soon.”
- How did you feel about the board members and ECF executives volunteering with the students?
“It was a great experience being able to spend time with the board members. The suits were off and titles didn’t matter. It was a bonding experience between our mentors/board members and the students. We talked about the food being served, how the semester was going, and even commented on how awesome the dining room and kitchen looked!”
- How has ECF helped you to become the person you are today?
“ECF has been the only constant in my life the past 4 1/2 years. No matter the lows or the highs, it’s always been my No. 1 support and has shaped me into the person I am today. The organization is a family, and my best friends are the students. It’s given me a push through all of these years and I’m grateful to have so many wonderful people in my life.”
Past Community Outreach Events
Habitat for Humanity – June 9, 2015
Along with some of the ECF board and committee members, ECF students volunteered at Habitat for Humanity building homes, communities and hope.
National Pay it Forward Day – May 2, 2013
UNLV hosted two speaking panels led by board members and industry professionals including: Sean DiCicco, Vice President of Food and Beverage for Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino; Kelley Jones, Chief Executive Officer of Trust3 Hospitality; Andrew Economon; Jim Laughlin, Director of Food and Beverage at Palms Casino Resort; and Michael Kennedy, Director of Food Operations for South Point Hotel Casino & Spa.
Annual Las Vegas Multiple Sclerosis Walk – May 5, 2012
ECF students participated in the annual MS Walk on Saturday, May 5, at Town Square. As a group, the students joined the race to support their fellow ECF scholarship recipient living with Multiple Sclerosis, Alona Rideout.