Emeril Lagasse's Emeril's Evening for Education, held Nov. 14 at Fish Out of Water, raised $143,100 and served as the official kick-off to the Investing in our Children, Community and Future Campaign — a $4 million effort to expand the top-ranked Seaside Neighborhood School to a comprehensive K through 12 charter school system in South Walton County.

Thanks to a few early lead gifts from 33 families, friends and corporate partners, the Seaside School Foundation has raised more than $2.3 million toward their $4 million goal. Plans include a new elementary school campus and further expansion of the recently opened Seacoast Collegiate High School.

During the kick-off celebration, Lagasse, along with Fish Out of Water's Chef Brian Murray, prepared an exquisite meal for 89 guests.

"Meaningful education for the children of South Walton County is a cause my wife, Alden, and I want to support in any way we can," explained Lagasse. “The Seaside Neighborhood School is doing incredible things for our community, and its programs should be expanded and available to more students.  I'm proud of the money raised tonight, and I look forward to being a part of a successful campaign to enhance education in the community."