Sunday, March 20, 2011

Saint Jack McDavid?

Jack McDavid, in a rare still moment, enjoying a Coke at his Down Home Diner
With all this talk of the March saints (Patrick and Joseph), and our theme of charity, we got to thinking about some folks in our midst who do an awful lot to help their fellow man. As our focus is food, we naturally gravitated toward people who operate in this arena.   And the name that kept coming up was none other than Down Home Diner's award-winning chef Jack McDavid.   

A small sample of the  barbecue awards (including many charity cook-offs)
won by Jack over the years
Not satisfied with merely producing award-winning food, Jack has always felt the desire to give back.   "I grew up on a dirt farm in back-country Virginia and we didn't have much.  But we were always taught to give what we could to help others."

Jack clearly learned this lesson well.

He launched a massive fundraising dinner for "Meals-on-Wheels" delivery program to bring healthy, wholesome food to shut-ins.  He also was instrumental in launching the Manna Thanksgiving Pie In The Sky program in 1996, which raises funds for people who are homebound due to critical illness.  With the help of  Jack and many others, Pie in the Sky has become an annual fundraiser, raising over $226,000 in 2010 alone.

For the last 20 years, Jack has also been a central figure in the "Party with a Purpose".  This  annual benefit is held in conjunction with the Super Bowl and brings celebrity chefs together to raise money for various hunger relief organizations.    This year they raised over $1 million. Whether Jack danced with Fergie at halftime remains a mystery.

Jack continues to support AIDS-related causes as well, in honor of a former waiter and manager who died of the disease.  He is an active participant in Chef-AID, an annual dinner which supports AIDS research and provides assistance to those afflicted with the illness.

In 2011, Jack will continue focusing on these and other charities, including:  fire prevention; breast cancer; youth programs and hunger relief.

Ok, so maybe he's not a saint, but he's surely an example for us all to follow in terms of generosity, charity, and helping others.

 Post brought to you by Down Home Diner.

1 comment:

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