April 6, 2018 10:45:48 AM
The Partnership revealed the three charities that can win up to $5,000 from Cadence Bank during the sixth annual Restaurant Week later this month.
Partnership Director of Tourism Jennifer Prather said The Partnership selected Christian World Missions, the Oktibbeha County Humane Society and the United Way of North Central Mississippi. She said the charities, and many others, were nominated during Restaurant Week's two-week nomination period, which closed at the end of March.
Restaurant week is set for April 22-29.
"During that time, we encourage the community and visitors to eat out as many times as they can," Prather said. "Every time they eat out at a participating restaurant, they can cast their ballot for a participating charity of their choice."
Once Restaurant Week ends, The Partnership will tally ballots, and the top charity will receive a $5,000 reward. Prather said there's also a $1,000 and $500 reward for the second- and third-place charities, respectively.
Last year, the T.K. Martin Center for Technology and Disability at Mississippi State University won the $5,000 first-place award.
"We encourage everyone to be ready on April 22-29 to eat out as much as they can and help these organizations share the message of the work they're doing and to get everyone excited about them," Prather said.
Partnership CEO Scott Maynard said Restaurant Week has a two-fold benefit, in supporting local restaurants and local charities.
"Restaurant Week provides a great opportunity to not only enjoy the culinary experience that Starkville offers, but also allows you a chance to help out one of the well-deserving charities that support our community," Maynard said.
This year, Prather said, The Partnership received 233 nominations for charities, compared to 193 in 2017. Prather said that only included eight nominations from repeat email addresses.
The year-over-year improvement, she said, is evidence that the event is continuing to grow in the community.
"A little bit more every year, the community buys into it," she said. "The years go by, the community has really grasped the process of Restaurant Week and has gotten motivated to get out and eat and to push their favorite charity to win that $5,000."
Maynard said he found the growth in nomination participation encouraging.
"I think it's graduated to the point where people recognize it now and really look forward to not only participating in the nomination process, but also through the thousands of votes we receive from people dining out each year," he said.
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