Chowder for a Cause

Brothers and restaurateurs use a popular menu item to fundraise for St. Jude

 
Steve Loomis (left) and Rick Loomis (right), owners of Fly ‘n’ Fish Oyster Bar, present a $10,000 check from their Chowder for a Cause fundraiser to ALSAC employee Shannon O’Nale (center).

Steve Loomis (left) and Rick Loomis, owners of Fly ‘n’ Fish Oyster Bar, present a $10,000 check from their Chowder for a Cause fundraiser to ALSAC employee Shannon O’Nale (center).

Two brothers recently turned a popular dish at their Newport Beach, California, restaurant into dollars for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

During its Chowder for a Cause campaign in October, Fly ‘N’ Fish Oyster Bar and Grill donated the proceeds from each cup of clam chowder sold, totaling $10,000, to St. Jude. Owners Steve and Rick Loomis, along with executive chef Julio Hawkins, created the fundraiser.

Steve had personally donated to St. Jude prior to starting Chowder for a Cause. He was inspired to become involved because of St. Jude founder Danny Thomas and his family.

“What a great idea that this man put together,” Steve said. “I think it is a remarkable thing what the Thomas family has done.”

Santa Monica Seafood donated the clams needed for the chowder, and Fly ‘N’ Fish Oyster Bar and Grill donated the other ingredients.

Steve, 67, and Rick, 69, have been in the restaurant business for 46 years, but Steve briefly retired about five years ago. He quickly became “bored,” and the pair opened Fly ‘N’ Fish Oyster Bar and Grill three years ago as a new challenge.

Due to the popularity of Chowder for a Cause, Fly ‘N’ Fish Oyster Bar and Grill plans to designate a dish to fundraise for St. Jude again in the future, possibly with a different menu item, to keep the fundraiser fresh for customers.

“It’s the first time we have ever done anything like this,” Steve said. “I was very surprised by the outlook with it, in the sense of how many people said it was a wonderful idea. My brother and I, and my chef, are very grateful that we were able to participate in this.”

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