Gulf Coast Heroes Honored At Supper on the Sand

Members of the Coastal Resiliency Coalition (CRC) and tourism leaders from the Gulf Shores and Orange Beach area have partnered to mark the Gulf Coast’s progress one year after the Deepwater Horizon explosion with a 500-person seated dinner directly on the white sand beaches. “Supper on the Sand: A Celebration of the Gulf” to be held Sunday, April 17, 2011. The menu will feature Gulf seafood and local produce prepared by chefs including local food celebrities Lucy Buffett and “Panini Pete” Blohme, the staff and students of Faulkner State Community College's Culinary Institute and Food Network's Guy Fieri.

The sunset dinner – which is a by invitation only event - will also pay tribute to the area’s local heroes, who have overcome unprecedented adversity during the spill and its aftermath. The following is a brief overview of some of the possible story angles on local heroes and event involvement:

Boat House Buddies: A children’s book series written by four Gulf Coast women to help the youth understand and cope with the spill and its effects

Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge: A refuge that approached the oil spill clean-up with environmentally sensitive cleaning methods

Business Support Center: A response to businesses in need from the gulf oil spill by providing workforce and business development programs that support a healthy local economy

Christian Service Center: A group that responded to an unprecedented rise of need from the local community by helping those who were once supporters and were now in need of a helping hand.

Coastal Resiliency Coalition: A leadership task force that is dedicated to helping Gulf Coast businesses and individuals survive, sustain and succeed now and in the future

Gulf Wild Seafood: Gulf Wild™ is a unique new brand of U.S.-caught seafood that provides real-time tracking back to original fishermen, thus ensuring the safety and authenticity of wild finfish harvested from the Gulf of Mexico.

Local Connection: Local seafood, produce and talent exemplify Gulf Coast resiliency and are the event’s focus

Orange Beach Fishing Association: Already stretched thin by tough economic times and increasing regulations, these independent businesses that make their living on the water are ready for a new season.

Peace Lutheran Church: A 50 member congregation who used its building fund to pay the bills of those individuals devastated by the spill

Project Rebound: A coalition of Alabama agencies that provide crisis counseling and link people to resources and was originally initiated after Hurricane Ivan

Share the Beach: A sea turtle volunteer group that worked closely with Fedex to uncover and transport fragile turtle eggs to the Eastern coast of Florida and who became the gulf coast experts on this process to save the turtles
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