In the run-up to last year’s Turkey Bowl, the annual gridiron showdown on Thanksgiving between chefs Jose Garces, Marc Vetri and their respective staffs, Iron Chef Garces talked a big talk of serving team Vetri a “special rigatoni.” This year, with the stakes much higher — the game is taking place at Franklin Field at 9 a.m. sharp, and there’s a $10,000 cash prize for the winning team’s preferred charity — Garces is stepping up his game with a new foundation for his philanthropic efforts. “We are forming the Garces Family Foundation now and we hope to have our status by early 2012,” Garces told Grub Street. “When we win, all proceeds will be held in escrow and will become the first contribution to the fund.”
The Garces Family Foundation, a non-profit organization, is dedicated to providing healthcare, wellness and education services to Philadelphia’s ever-growing and often underserved immigrant population. Led by Chairperson Dr. Beatriz M. Garces, DDM, that’s Mrs. Iron Chef Garces, the foundation’s aim is to develop a community center that offers critical assistance to those unable to afford proper medical care or unable to communicate effectively in English, support the work of other local non-profit outreach organizations such as Puentes de Salud (Dr. Garces is a board member) and create and maintain scholarship programs and oversee the improvement of educational opportunities available to immigrant students.
Should Vetri win the game, the prize money will go to his Vetri Foundation for Children, which through a variety of programs supports the development of healthy living habits and styles in young people. Through programs like Eatiquette and fundraisers for Alex’s Lemonade Stand, special focus is placed on supporting underserved youth and funding research into childhood medical issues.