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The Shed, Friedman honored for community work

The Shed BBQ and Blues Joint-Gulfport was the winning recipient of the Mississippi Restaurant Neighbor Award. And, Ridgeland-based McAlister’s CEO Phil Friedman has won Mississippi’s Cornerstone Humanitarian Award.

The National Restaurant Association and founding partner American Express developed the Restaurant Neighbor Award to raise awareness about the restaurant industry’s contributions in local communities across the country and to inspire other restaurant operators and owners to make even greater contributions in their communities.

In its first year of business, The Shed fed all of the teachers of Lizana Elementary School after the school caught fire before the first day of school. The restaurant also collected more than $1000 worth of toys for Toys for Tots and raised over $500 in cash for the South Mississippi Humane Society. Additionally, it raised $20,000 in one day for a local business woman who was incapacitated after a stroke and heart attack and provided meals for Kaboom! Foundation volunteers who built playgrounds throughout the area.

Friedman is a founding board member of the Great American Dine Out, He mobilized the entire restaurant community to help this hunger relief program. He also raised more than $50,000 for St. Jude Children’s Hospital through Tea for Tots, an umbrella organization for McAlister’s charitable work. A board member of the Mississippi Hospitality & Restaurant Association, Friedman inspires staff and volunteers and has created several initiatives to raise money to help children.

“These two organizations represent all that is good about the restaurant industry,” said Mike Cashion CAE, executive director of the Mississippi Hospitality & Restaurant Association. “In spite of the challenging economic conditions, these two businesses continue to support their communities by donating food, time and money to worthwhile causes.”

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