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NRA Dignitaries Roll Up Their Sleeves in New Orleans for Community Service

In addition to volunteering time to these service projects, the group also raised more than $22,000 in contributions to support the four non-profit organizations where they volunteered.

"With more than nine out of 10 restaurants actively contributing to charitable efforts in communities across the United States, the National Restaurant Association Board of Directors participating in these service projects reflects our industry's commitment to enhance the quality of life for all we serve," said Michael Kaufman, chairman of the National Restaurant Association and co-president of Enovo Restaurant Ventures LLC. "We are honored to be part of the efforts to restore this vibrant city."

"Our city is still recovering from the devastation of hurricane Katrina and the New Orleans restaurant community has been a vital part of these efforts," said Ralph Brennan, president of Ralph Brennan Restaurant Group, LLC, in New Orleans, and Association Board member. "The generosity of my fellow National Restaurant Association directors and NRAEF trustees was overwhelming."

The volunteers served more than 150 meals to homeless men, women and children; they organized a trailer full of donated restaurant equipment for a job-training program for at-risk youth; and performed light construction work, including re-flooring and painting at a local middle school.

The industry leaders also mentored 40 ProStart(R) high school students, and 35 college students enrolled at the University of New Orleans School of Hospitality. The NRA’s ProStart program is a two-year curriculum that blends classroom learning with mentored work experience to teach high school students the management and culinary skills needed for a career in the foodservice industry.

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