A service celebrating the life of Delaware restaurateur and James Beard Foundation honoree Matt Haley is scheduled for 2.p.m., Sunday, Sept. 28, at the Freeman Stage at Bayside, 31750 Lake View Drive in Selbyville. The rain date is Monday, Sept. 29, at 11 a.m.
Haley, a noted philanthropist and the owner of eight coastal Delaware restaurants, died Aug. 19 from injuries suffered in a motorcycle accident in Ladakh, India.
The event is open to the public, and the Freeman Stage can accommodate more than 2,000. “Matt touched so many lives that we felt it was only right to give as many people as possible the opportunity to pay tribute to him,” said Scott Kammerer, president and COO of the Matt Haley Companies.
Organizers are still firming up details, but featured speakers are expected to include those who worked closely with Haley both personally and professionally. His Global Delaware Fund, founded in 2011, is active locally and abroad, and many guests will represent the nonprofits that the fund and Haley supported.
Haley's humanitarian efforts this year garnered him the James Beard Foundation’s Humanitarian of the Year Award, the National Restaurant Association Education Foundation Cornerstone Humanitarian Award and the International Association of Culinary Professionals National Humanitarian Award - a culinary triple crown.
The service is a celebration, Kammerer said. “Matt would want people to remember him with laughter, kindness and joy.”
There will be food and music. The food truck Big Thunder Roadside Kitchen, one of Haley's latest projects, will be on hand.
For information on the Freeman Stage, go to www.freemanstage.com.