YONKERS, N.Y. -- For me, charity will always be a measure of character and to quote John F. Kennedy “For of those to whom much is given, much is required.”
As an entrepreneur, and maybe more importantly as a compassionate member of my community, I feel compelled to participate in fundraising efforts. As a business owner I believe it's our duty to give back to the communities that offer us the opportunity to conduct our businesses through their patronage.
The challenge for restaurateurs, as is the challenge for any individual, is which charity or charities we choose to participate in. I can think of no other industry that is called on with as much frequency as the hospitality industry to help the cause of fundraising.
Whether's it's the local pizza restaurant that sponsors the Little League team, the hotel that provides the ballroom for the annual gala, or the chef that allows his services to be auctioned off to the highest bidder, restaurants are more often than not front and center in the effort to raise funds for charities.
Participating in all these events and supporting all these organizations does much more for us than just helping those in need. It creates good will in our neighborhoods. It shows our respect for the people who volunteer countless hours to these projects and it demonstrates our commitment to giving back to our communities.
How can we say yes to all of these worthwhile causes? We can't. Each request has its own unique justification and relationship to our restaurants. Perhaps a family member is stricken with a particular disease, or a frequent diner is chairman of a specific foundation or your own son plays Pop Warner football.
We must choose to support and give generously to the organizations that are closest to our hearts and we must hope that those whom we cannot contribute to or participate with will understand that it is not because we feel their cause is not as important as another.
The truth is there are no bad causes.
I hope that all individuals will continue to support and promote the causes that most motivate them to participate in. I also hope diners will recognize the contributions of time and services that their favorite restaurants continue to provide to their communities.
Next Week: "Great Restaurants"
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.