GRAND RAPIDS, MICH. (Nov. 5, 2019) Experience Grand Rapids announced the Restaurant Week GR 2019 donation to the Secchia Institute for Culinary Education (SICE) Student Fund at Grand Rapids Community College. The endowed scholarship totals $175,908. with the 2019 contribution of $16,480.

“One of the more exciting aspects of this promotion is $1 from every meal sold during Restaurant Week GR goes toward a scholarship fund for culinary students here in our community,” says Doug Small, President & CEO of Experience Grand Rapids.

The 10th annual Restaurant Week GR event took place from August 7-18 and included 70+ participating area restaurants.

There were six sponsors of the event that helped contribute to the fund this year. The sponsors include: Gordon Food Service, Michigan Restaurant and Lodging Association, Hobart Grand Rapids, AHC + Hospitality, Great Lakes Wine and Spirits, and Black Star Farms.

The donation check was accepted on behalf of the GRCC Student Fund by Dr. Bill Pink, President of GRCC. Pink and Janet Korn, Senior Vice President of Experience Grand Rapids, presented scholarships to 10 students who each received $1,000 to help support their continuing studies in GRCC’s SICE program.

“West Michigan has some of the best restaurants in the world, and many have graduates of GRCC’s Secchia Institute for Culinary Education on their teams,” GRCC President Bill Pink said. “The scholarships provided through Grand Rapids’ Restaurant Week help many students overcome financial obstacles, complete their education and find rewarding careers. It’s a great example of a partnership making West Michigan stronger.”

Restaurant Week GR established the SICE Student Scholarship endowed fund in 2010 and has been awarding scholarship money to students for the past nine years.

This year, being the tenth anniversary of Restaurant Week GR, ten scholarships have been awarded to culinary students. Students must be employed at a participating Restaurant Week GR location to be eligible for the scholarship.

“The donation helped me continue my career,” says Isabella Patterson, 2018 and 2019 scholarship award recipient. “It has allowed me to start my culinary education and have extra time for studying.”

GRCC Secchia Institute for Culinary Education 2019 Student Scholarship Award Winners:

Adela Campos
Employer: Judson’s Steakhouse at the B.O.B.

Adela has always loved to cook, and the culinary program at Kent Career Technical Center sparked her passion for foodservice. She is grateful to work in an industry that inspires young chefs and gives back to the community. Her dream is to become a certified pastry chef.

Matthew Cook
Employer: Brewery Vivant

Matthew likes to work with his hands and decided to pursue a career in the culinary field. He says this scholarship will help fund his classroom education or a culinary-themed trip to Italy. His goal is to one day work in a Michelin-starred restaurant.

Garrett Hamilton
Employer: Bistro Bella Vita

Garrett took culinary arts in his junior year of high school at the Holland Careerline Tech Center. He loves the freedom, creativity, and potential for adventure in the culinary field. He says this scholarship will get him one step closer to achieving his dream of becoming a personal chef.

Thomas Hoffman
Employer: MeXo

Thomas wanted to turn his enjoyment of cooking into a career and fell in love with the culinary field. He plans to use his scholarship to continue his education and further his goal of opening his own restaurant in Grand Rapids.

Molly Hoseth
Employer: Reserve Wine & Food

Molly started pursuing her culinary career nearly a year and a half ago. She believes the Restaurant Week scholarship will relieve a lot of financial stress and let her focus on her studies.

Carley Laubaugh
Employer: Bistro Bella Vita

Carley knew she wanted to work in the culinary field after getting involved in high school cooking classes. She welcomes the scholarship as a validation of her hard work. Carley’s goal is to work in restaurant management while still being involved in the back of the house.

Luna Lyder
Employer: SpeakEZ Lounge

Luna says she always knew she wanted to enroll in GRCC’s culinary program, but it wasn’t until junior year of high school that she formulated a plan. The scholarship will help pay for her culinary education. Luna wants to travel the world and write about food.

Isabella Patterson
Employer: Cork Wine & Grille

Isabella’s interests in a culinary career were nurtured by the variety of different cuisines she was exposed to while living abroad. She says the scholarship will help her financially as she pursues her extensive education plan. Isabella’s goal is to become a private chef and own her own business.

Chloe Perham
Employer: Palio

Chloe grew up cooking with her grandmother and constantly watching cooking shows, both of which fueled her culinary ambitions. She is a full-time student and has a full-time job. She is grateful for the financial assistance of the scholarship. Once she earns her degree, Chloe hopes to work in culinary education.

Kezia Stinson
Employer: San Chez Bistro

Kezia developed a passion for cooking early on while watching her mom, who was a sous chef, and discovered a talent for pastry making while attending Kent Career Technical Center. She loves the industry and is grateful that the scholarship will help her continue to learn. Kezia’s goal is to become a dietitian.