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 www.emeraldcoastbgc.org or contact info@thehivecreativeconsulting.com. For more about attending this event or to purchase sample tickets, visit www.emeraldcoastbgc.org.