By Roberto Luna Jr.
Daily Press Intern
Santa Monica residents and visitors will be able enjoy a meal while contributing to local charity at select restaurants throughout the city on Oct. 15.
Prix Fixe Consulting firm is organizing its inaugural Eat2Give event, a day when Santa Monica businesses will donate a percentage of their sales to a charity of their choice, said Ilias Gahlings, owner of the firm. The Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce and Buy Local Santa Monica will also sponsor the event.
Gahlings said the goal of the event is to encourage business activity and inform residents about various charities in their community.
“It’s an event that promotes both local business and charities,” he said. “I think it’s a great idea to strengthen the community in Santa Monica.”
Gahlings said he is currently working on recruiting restaurants to participate in the event. Any restaurant in Santa Monica is eligible, and the restaurant can choose which charity they will donate to and how much of the day’s proceeds they will give when they register.
“Participation is free and it only takes 60 seconds,” he said.
Gahlings said he hopes participants will be able to learn more about the charities in the community and contribute to them after the event.
“Customers can get informed about a charity one block from where they live and go there on another day,” he said.
The Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce and Buy Local Santa Monica will help with outreach to inform and attract restaurants and people, Gahlings said. Volunteers will also be on the street during the event to let people know about it.
Laurel Rosen, president of the Chamber of Commerce, said they partnered with Prix Fixe Consulting to promote local charities as well as economic development.
“This is a win-win situation for all,” Rosen said.
Jennifer Taylor, Buy Local Santa Monica Committee Chair, said Eat2Give falls in line with their Buy Local, Give Local initiative, to put the spotlight on businesses that give back to the community.
She said many businesses in Santa Monica are philanthropically minded, so they usually give back regardless of events. However, she said Buy Local Santa Monica’s initiative and Eat2Give are a good way to give exposure to businesses and create a customer base.
Taylor said Buy Local Santa Monica will help Gahlings make connections with local businesses as well as with nonprofit organizations and charities.
Gahlings said he came up with Eat2Give after he took several underprivileged children from South Los Angeles to a cooking demonstration at a restaurant in downtown Los Angeles.
He said many of them, who had unhealthy lifestyles because they were poor and hadn’t been to a restaurant before, were moved by the experience. He said this motivated him to pursue a similar thing in Santa Monica.
“I then thought, ‘How can we connect both restaurants and charity?’” he said.
He added the firm will host a healthy cooking demonstration the day of the event.
Interested restaurants can register for free at www.eat2give.com.