The HGTC Foundation announced Thursday it has set up a fund to equip a new culinary arts building to be constructed on the colleges Grand Strand campus.
Officials hope the David L. Brittain Legacy Fund for Culinary Arts, named for the late Grand Strand business leader, will be the vehicle for raising between $2.5 million and $3 million to outfit the 38,000-square-foot building.
Thanks primarily to a special one-cent tax for education in Horry County, said Neyle Wilson, president of Horry-Georgetown Technical College, Were not worried about the building cost. Were worried about the fixtures.
Brittain ran a number of family businesses along the Grand Strand, including the Sea Captains House, Myrtle Beach National, Kings North and Long Bay golf courses and the Breakers, Long Bay and Ocean Reef resorts and was active in philanthropic and civic efforts throughout the area. Brittain died unexpectedly in January 2011 at the age of 54.
His widow, Ann Brittain, said at the announcement of the fund Thursday that he would have supported the effort, but likely would have stayed in the background.
David loved Myrtle Beach, she said. He was proud to be from here. He loved living here.
She said HGTCs Culinary Arts program is essential for area restaurants to have a supply of skilled labor. Good food is a vital part of the mix that keeps visitors returning to the area, she said, and the colleges program helps to keep Grand Strand restaurants in line with foodservice in other resort areas.
She said that her late husband liked helping and encouraging young people and he loved food and raising money.
All those things come together in this one opportunity, she said.
She said the family will contribute to the fund, but an amount has not been decided.
Tom Maeser, HGTCs executive president for continuing education and corporate and foundation relations, said the fundraising campaign built around Brittains name will have five major parts to present giving opportunities to individuals and businesses and to host events at area restaurants that will add to the fund.
Those will include 16 naming opportunities in the new building that could raise $1.6 million and an in-kind vendor program where restaurant equipment manufacturers would donate equipment in return for being able to bring customers in to show them how it works in real-life and chefs to demonstrate how it works for them, which could be worth another $1 million.
Additionally, Maeser said some area restaurants have expressed interest in an HGTC Culinary Arts Day where a portion of their proceeds that day would go to the culinary arts program. Other fundraising efforts will include a legacy program where restaurants could each pledge $1,000 a year for 10 years to the fund and individual cash donations.
It costs a lot of money for students to go through the program, Maeser said, so were not only looking at equipment, but were also looking at scholarships.
HGTC Foundation chairman Buzz Freeman said the college has for several years had to look for other sources of funding as state money has decreased and can no longer be counted on as a major source of funding.
That Atlantic Ocean, hotel rooms and food, Freeman said, are what go to making Myrtle Beach and the Grand Strand.
Contact STEVE JONES at 444-1765.