Local chefs are donating their skills to raise money for Renewal Coalition, a local organization that has brought about 120 wounded soldiers and their families to north county since 2009 for five days of rest and relaxation.
“We’ve had soldiers and Marines that are severely burned from injuries in Iraq and Afghanistan. Some are amputees. It is so important to give them quiet time with their families,” said Mary Hinton, a Tequesta resident who is the executive director of the Jupiter-based coalition.
Tickets are $150 for the Chefs Helping Heroes event on April 17 that is expected to raise about $20,000. Donors will have a full-course meal prepared by five restaurant chefs at a home on the Loxahatchee River.
“We had about 120 people last year. We’re hoping to do better this year,” said June Banks, an office assistant with Renewal Coalition.
Started about four years ago, the 501 (c) 3 organization pays for round-trip flights for soldiers and Marines from military hospitals to Palm Beach International Airport. Flights and local transportation are also donated to their families.
The families stay for free in separate Jupiter homes owned by residents Sara Ashworth Lankler, a West Palm Beach native and former elementary education professor at Florida Atlantic University, and her husband, Alexander, a retired corporate attorney.
Local residents donate time and money for fishing trips, water scooters, diving lessons, spa days and restaurant meals. Day events are planned for spouses. The houses are stocked with food and welcome baskets.
The soldiers and Marines are either active duty or are being medically discharged. The coalition brings about eight groups annually for visits, Hinton said.
“These soldiers and Marines, as well as their families, deserve everything we can give them,” she said.
For more information, call (561) 746-0190 or go to renewalcoalition.org.