On Thursday, March 7, 2019, hosted their 8th Annual Gumbo Throwdown at the bank’s Fort Walton Beach location, raising $6,752.43 for Fresh Start for Children and Families, a local nonprofit organization dedicated to helping families achieve long-term self-sufficiency through a nine-month residential educational program.
The event drew a crowd of over 400 attendees to sample endless tastes of gumbo from various local restaurants. Guests enjoyed live music by Hurricane Donny & Marshall Jones, beignets provided by Good Things Doughnuts, a commemorative photobooth from Epic Photo Co., and complimentary beer and wine. Upon check-in, guests received a token in order to vote for the coveted People’s Choice Awards for the Best Gumbo Along the Emerald Coast. The following winners were chosen by event goers:
1st Place People’s Choice Award – AJ’s Seafood & Oyster Bar
2nd Place People’s Choice Award – Fort Walton Yacht Club
3rd Place People’s Choice Award – SunQuest Cruises
A panel of select food critics and local celebrities judged each gumbo and selected the following winner for the most delicious and most creative:
Judge’s Award – Signature Catering of 30A
All awards were custom made by local artist, Maxine Orange, and the Judge’s Award winner received a custom trophy from The Trophy Center.
Through general admission ticket sales and raffle ticket sales, the event raised $6,752.43 for Fresh Start. All of the proceeds will go towards aiding the local area’s homeless population, and more specifically, funding Fresh Start’s housing and education programs that will ultimately help families achieve self-sufficiency.