Delaware restaurants and foundations raise $30,000 for disaster relief

May 28, 2015

A dine and donate fundraiser was held by 15 coastal restaurants from Lewes to Fenwick Island May 15 to benefit Save the Children, which is providing relief to earthquake victims in Nepal. Participating restaurants donated a portion of their sales that day to the charity. The Carl M. Freeman Foundation and the Matthew James Haley Trust also collaborated on the event.

“One of the benefits of living on the culinary coast, and in Delaware for that matter, is that businesses are quick to join together to help others,” said Scott Kammerer, president and CEO of SoDel Concepts, who spearheaded the effort. “In my experience, whenever local businesses come together for an important cause, the community always rallies to help too. It is inspiring.”

SoDel Concepts founder Matt Haley connected the Delaware coastal community to Nepal through his charitable efforts in that region. Southern Delaware has continued with its efforts there since the untimely death of Haley in 2014. Shannon Colburn, general manager of Bluecoast in Bethany Beach, is the SoDel liaison in Nepal and has visited the region twice recently.

Michelle Freeman, president and chair of the Carl M. Freeman Foundation, accompanied Colburn on her last trip to Nepal, which took place within a week of the devastating earthquake. "Having just  spent time in the areas affected by the earthquake, I contacted our trustees, who immediately wanted to offer assistance to the Nepalese. The local collaborative efforts were a natural fit for our organization to support this global need," said Freeman.

Organizations that participated in the fundraiser included Fish On in Lewes, Lupo Italian Kitchen and Papa Grande’s Coastal Taqueria in Rehoboth Beach, Matt’s Fish Camp and Bluecoast Seafood Grill in Bethany Beach, NorthEast Seafood Kitchen in Ocean View, and Catch 54 and Papa Grande’s Coastal Taqueria in Fenwick Island; DiFebo’s restaurants in Bethany Beach and Rehoboth Beach; Fins Fish House & Raw Bar, Fins Ale House & Raw Bar, Claws Crab House, Nage and Touch of Italy, all in Rehoboth; The Carl M. Freeman Foundation; the Matthew James Haley Trust; and Alan and Ellen Levin.

The collaborative effort managed to raise $30,377 in a single day. To put this into perspective, $90 can provide four families with emergency shelter kits, and $120 can provide four families with emergency kitchen sets that enable them to prepare, cook, and consume food hygienically. For more information on Save the Children or to donate directly, go to