The Duffy’s Foundation was established in 2016 in honor of Paul Emmett, the late owner of Duffy’s Sports Grill, who transformed the restaurants into one of the area’s most iconic brands. We interviewed Geri Emmett, the Chairwoman of Duffy’s Foundation and asked her the following five questions.
What is the mission of Duffy’s Foundation?
It’s simply to honor my late-husband’s passion for giving back to the local communities that we call home. To date our foundation has given back more than $700,000 to local charities and we look forward to continuing this. It is so rewarding for us to support such great organizations as Girl Scouts of Southeast Florida, Special Olympics, Palm Beach School of Autism, Forgotten Soldiers, Meals on Wheels, Dana Farber Cancer Institute and many more.
Supporting the Girl Scouts locally has been important for Duffy’s Foundation, what has that partnership been like?
I was a Girl Scout when growing up and know this is an incredible organization that inspires our young girls with a commitment to courage, character and confidence. I knew that supporting the Girl Scouts would be a pillar of our Foundation as their mission is to empower girls for the future. We support the Girl Scouts in so many ways from participating in its Thin Mint Sprint and we host an annual, “Get a Box, Get a Box” campaign, helping send Girl Scout cookies to our military deployed overseas. We also create our own events like organizing a healthy cooking class for 100 girl scouts in our test kitchen, having a contest for the Girl Scouts to design our Kid’s Menu and providing an annual scholarship called the Paul C. Emmett Memorial Scholarship. Also, the Girl Scouts help us, too! They volunteer for foundation initiatives such as organizing care packages for our military servicemembers with Forgotten Soldiers Outreach, help bake pies for Meals on Wheels annual “Pie It Forward” campaign. So, our commitment really goes full circle.
Another focus is Palm Beach School of Autism, what are you doing with them?
We have formed a partnership with them to be a pivotal partner of their Project Next project. We understand the tremendous difficulties families face when caring for special-needs children and adults who are on the autistic spectrum. Project Next is a transition academy for 18-21 year-old students, as it will teach the skills to gain employment and steps to a life of independence. With the construction of a new 10,000 square foot addition to their campus, we will be helping them with their culinary facility and job-skill training.
What can other businesses learn from Duffy’s Foundation and the importance of Corporate Social Responsibility?
It’s the right thing to do. We call it “Providing Community Enhancement” and it is truly what it is. The reason for our foundation is to make our local communities better. In our restaurants we strive to create a fun community environment and we are grateful for the loyalty of our customers. Local businesses need to understand that by strengthening our communities, they will be more successful. Plus, it makes our employees proud of our brand and themselves when they can get involved in the community and do the right thing.
How can people learn more about and support Duffy’s foundation? Are there any volunteering opportunities?
There are lots of ways to help and support. Visit our site to learn more at https://duffysfoundation.com. Follow us on social media to see what our next event is and get involved. We have a donation button on our site and every dollar that is raised goes directly to the community organizations we support. Be inspired by our passion to support the community!