Salty Supper nº1

122_southernSaltFoundation_07172016-(ZF-6841-97178-1-024)bA little over three years ago, early May, Bryan and I had our first date. It was on that date, that we realized just how much we had in common… other than just our appreciation for good food and wine. We also discovered how much we both loved being on or near salt water, especially the Gulf. It turns out we had both at some point thought that we would grow up to be marine biologists.

On our third date, Bryan decided, as he says, to give me the test… we went 75 miles off shore. Just the two of us. He claims that there were two other people he invited that no showed us at the dock. I still think he planned it that way. I passed with flying colors which equates to, I caught a ton of fish and didn’t get seasick.

As we started seeing more of each other, we often had dates on the boat. We would go off shore to fish or sometimes just cruise the channel at sunset with a bottle of wine and some snacks, enjoying the stillness and beauty of the estuaries and wildlife. For us, being on the water is one of the only ways that we ever truly feel at peace. As important to us as the Gulf is, we also want it to remain to be a part of our children’s lives as they continue to grow up along it’s southern coast.

You can imagine with the chaos of our daily life, that is a much needed sanctuary for us. One that we would do just about anything to preserve and protect. It was with that thought that we would casually discuss how much we wanted to create a foundation or nonprofit to help us do just that. We would often discuss our plans or goals, but we never did it. As you can imagine, it’s a very large undertaking and can be incredibly overwhelming. It was never much more than a pipe dream.

Until a few months ago…

Bryan was at Reef for dinner service and I was at home working when the thought occurred to me, that we had purchased a domain name a few months prior and had recently decided not to use it for its original purpose. Bryan and I often brainstorm ideas late at night while playing cards and drinking wine. This usually leads to some genius idea that we then turn around and buy 30 different domain names for and is how we ended up dropping $2,000 on SouthernSalt.com. It seemed like a good idea at the time.

With that thought on my mind, I quickly logged on to a website that assists in the paperwork and filing to create nonprofits and other legal entities. Five minutes later, I was speeding down the road, full throttle, towards the creation of our new nonprofit.

I called Bryan to let him know the good news, which is not something I do often as I know it’s hard for him to answer the phone during service.

Me: Hey… um, so I just started a nonprofit
Bryan: You did what?!
Me: I felt it was time. Guess what we’re going to call it….
Bryan: Spontaneous combustion foundation!?
Me: What?! Noooooo… Southern Salt Foundation

30 seconds of silence….       <—— Bryan processing our random conversation

Bryan: Perfect, let’s do it.

A month later we decided it was time to start fundraising. So, we set a date, just four short weeks away, and called up four of our favorite chefs to come in and help us. These weren’t just your typical cooks either, they were all award winning chefs. Edward Lee, Ryan Prewitt, Ryan Lachaine and Rebecca Masson all accepted our proposal without hesitation.

We were both honored and humbled.

In those first days, after announcing our plans ,we were amazed by the sheer amount of support that came flooding in. We couldn’t have done it without our generous sponsors, the guests who purchased their tickets selling out the dinner with a week to spare, as well as the people who volunteered their time. Like Kathryne, who is solely responsible for my sanity staying in tact in the days leading up to the event.

Salty Supper nº1 was well on it’s way backed by a crackerjack team.

On July 17th, with much anticipation, we welcomed almost 70 diners, including media and a special surprise guest to a sold out dinner.

We want to thank everyone involved and everyone who believed in us and our vision of holistic preservation of the gulf coast habitats through education, conservation and exploration. It is because of you that our event was a success and our foundation is off to an incredible start.

We will be announcing the date for Salty Supper nº2 next week. In the meantime here are a few photos from the first amazing dinner…

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*Photos in this post provided by Killy Photographysalty_supper3

*Photos in this post provided by Killy Photography

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