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National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation to Honor Past and Present Industry Legends at 25th Anniversary of Salute to Excellence Fundraising Gala

(Chicago) The National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF) will celebrate the 25th anniversary of its Salute to Excellence on Saturday, May 21, 2011, at the Hilton Chicago. Kicking off the annual National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show, this grand affair is the NRAEF's premier fundraising event with all proceeds benefitting the ProStart® program and the NRAEF Scholarship Program. As a tribute to the event's history, the NRAEF will highlight a quarter century of foodservice industry honorees.

 

Contact: Jessica Maggio Wion (312) 715-5397


(Chicago) The National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF) will celebrate the 25th anniversary of its Salute to Excellence on Saturday, May 21, 2011, at the Hilton Chicago. Kicking off the annual National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show, this grand affair is the NRAEF's premier fundraising event with all proceeds benefitting the ProStart® program and the NRAEF Scholarship Program. As a tribute to the event's history, the NRAEF will highlight a quarter century of foodservice industry honorees.

To view a short video highlighting the 2011 Salute to Excellence, click here.

"Salute to Excellence provides attendees the chance to connect with industry leaders from across the nation, as well as to give back to an industry that has given so much," said Dawn Sweeney, President and CEO of the National Restaurant Association and NRAEF. "It is our privilege to recognize these restaurant all-stars - past and present - and their significant dedication to education and excellence in our industry. By joining us at this year's anniversary celebration, you will support ProStart and NRAEF scholarships, which help ensure a bright future for the restaurant industry."

This year's anniversary event will pay tribute to past NRAEF honorees from the esteemed College of Diplomats, Michael E. Hurst Lifetime Achievement in Education Award recipients, and the Thad and Alice Eure Ambassadors of Hospitality. The NRAEF will also honor Ralph Brennan, president of the Ralph Brennan Restaurant Group, as the 2011 Ambassador of Hospitality.

The Thad and Alice Eure Ambassador of Hospitality Award is the premier award bestowed by the NRAEF. The award is presented annually to an individual who has shown extraordinary achievement and exemplary leadership in bringing public focus to the hospitality industry through philanthropy and community service. Brennan's steadfast support of the ProStart program, his efforts to revitalize New Orleans and assist its citizens following Hurricane Katrina, and his leadership in representing the restaurant industry after the 2010 Gulf Coast oil spill have earned him this honor.

Click here to download a full bio and photo of Ralph Brennan.

In addition to honoring past and present industry leadership, Salute to Excellence attendees will have the opportunity to meet future leaders of the industry -- the 2011 National ProStart Invitational culinary and management champions. Fresh off their win in Overland Park, Kansas, the top management team will present its restaurant concept, and the first-place culinary team will prepare its featured appetizer. ProStart, the proven, high-impact career development program for high school students, provides the best and brightest talent with the management and culinary skills needed for a career in the restaurant and foodservice industry

This event is made possible by the generous contributions of founding partner The Coca-Cola Company, as well as Ecolab, Inc., McCormick for Chefs, Micros Systems, Inc., Sweet Street Desserts, Tim Hortons USA, Georgia Pacific Professional, Procter & Gamble Professional, Barilla America Inc., Nation's Restaurant News and QSR Magazine.

Tickets for Salute to Excellence may be purchased individually, or by a table of ten. To learn more about this event and to purchase tickets, visit www.nraef.org/events/salute or call Shannon Greenfield at (312) 715-6764.

The annual National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show is the largest and most comprehensive global gathering of restaurant, foodservice and lodging professionals. The NRA Show 2011 will be held May 21-24 at McCormick Place in Chicago. The event attracts tens of thousands of attendees and visitors from all 50 states and 100+ countries, and showcases more products, services, innovative ideas and other growth opportunities than any other industry event. For more information, visit the Show Web site at www.restaurant.org/show.

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