The BGCEC searches for participants in upcoming Mac & Cheese Festival

The Boys & Girls Clubs of the Emerald Coast, or BGCEC, is actively searching for local restaurants and businesses to participate in a new fundraiser, the area’s first-ever Mac & Cheese Festival, which is set for May 19 at the Destin Commons.

Featuring gourmet, chef-inspired twists on the South’s favorite comfort food, this family-friendly event will pit our area’s favorite restaurants against each other in a competition to see who has the best mac on the Emerald Coast.

“It’s going to be an incredible event,”Shervin Rassa, CEO of the BGCEC, said. “We’ve already received an amazing amount of interest from the community, and I’m excited to see which restaurants get involved.”

Restaurants competing have a chance to win three awards, People’s Choice, Kids’ Choice and Judges’ Pick. People’s Choice is voted on by the attendees at the festival, and Kids’ Choice is voted on by children attending the event. Judges’ Pick is selected by the BGCEC’s panel of esteemed judges: Susan Benton of 30aEats, The Destin Duchess Molly Carter, Kenzie Lohbeck of Rowland Publishing and the 2018 BGCEC Youth of the Year.

In addition to searching for restaurants to compete, the BGCEC encourages businesses outside of the restaurant industry to participate by becoming a sponsor. Sponsors, which receive a number of marketing benefits for their support, remain a vital part of this fundraiser, allowing the BGCEC to raise money to further its mission in our area.

The BGCEC works to promote and enhance the development of local boys and girls by instilling a sense of competence, usefulness, belonging and influence through its programs focused on academic success, healthy lifestyles, good character and citizenship.

“Funds generated from the Mac & Cheese Festival will go directly toward supporting our programs that create great futures for the children of the Emerald Coast,” Rassa said.

To learn more about the vendor or sponsorship opportunities, visit or contact For more about attending this event or to purchase sample tickets, visit

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Boys & Girls Clubs programs have taken Members from the Clubhouse to the White House; from the games room to the corporate boardroom; from the high school football field to the NFL; from a band room to Carnegie Hall. In every community, young people are left to find their own recreation and companionship in the streets. An increasing number of children are at home with no adult care or supervision. Young people need to know that someone cares about them.

Boys & Girls Clubs of the Emerald Coast offer that and more. Club programs and services promote and enhance the development of boys and girls by instilling a sense of competence, usefulness, belonging and influence. Boys & Girls Clubs of the Emerald Coast is a safe place to learn and grow – all while having fun. These Clubs are the place where great futures are started each and every day.

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