fortify at 45

45th Annual Scholarship Drive Supports Emerging Female Leaders in Food, Beverage, and Hospitality 

To Date More Than 1,000 Recipients Have Received Over $2 Million in Funds

NEW YORK, NY (JULY 2022) – Les Dames New York (LDNY) is proud to announce its Fortify at 45 campaign – a new fundraising initiative designed to celebrate 45 years of scholarship awards and increase the number and types of scholarships it presents to women pursuing careers in the thriving fine food, beverage, and hospitality industry.  The goal for Fortify at 45 is to raise a minimum of $45,000 by year-end. 

The LDNY Scholarship Program was instituted one year after the group’s launch as the founding chapter of Les Dames d’Escoffier International.  With founding principles of philanthropy, advocacy, and education, LDNY’s aim is to raise the image and presence of women in food, wine, and hospitality, as well as build professional relationships for career success.  As such, scholarships have played a key role in the organization’s mission, with funds raised each year through event ticket sales and generous individual and corporate sponsor support that benefits the next generation of women leaders.  

“Since 1977, LDNY has bestowed over $2 million in funds to over 1,000 women, and more work must be done.  With the cost of college often cited as the most significant reason students drop out, particularly during the pandemic, we’re recommitted in this milestone year to building a more robust scholarship program that ensures access to education for women pursuing an education in the food, beverage, and hospitality fields,” reflected LDNY President Jennifer O’Flanagan. 

In 2022, while career opportunities expand and evolve in these growing industries, women continue to face many of the same hurdles that existed when LDNY was founded. Creating supportive spaces and alliances remains a constant goal for LDNY, to be a key partner to women pioneering new paths, attaining equal rights, and achieving leadership roles in these fields. 

Karen Goodlad, Chairperson, Department of Hospitality Management, New York City College of Technology, has seen this positive impact firsthand and said, “The Les Dames d’Escoffier New York scholarship program is intentionally designed to help students with the cost of education but also provides access to women business leaders. It is the formal mentoring component of the program which makes the financial award exponentially more effective. Our students quickly learn that having a supportive network includes peers, mentors, and advocates. This organization provides access to women they would need to work for years to meet. City Tech students are fortunate to be recipients of Les Dames scholarships.”  

Over 1,000 students, from City Tech and other schools, have benefitted from the program, Amanda Hesser, Co-Founder of Food52, being one of them.  She said, “My scholarship from Les Dames d’Escoffier allowed me to take risks, pursue my dreams, and embrace curiosity early in my career. This set a foundation that I can now see guided my professional life.” 

Recent recipient Lia Jones, Founder and Executive Director of Diversity in Food & Beverage, noted, “having received my scholarship during such unprecedented times, while life was seemingly harder to navigate, I found support through the mentorship that accompanied this opportunity. Les Dames hadn’t just given me an opportunity but rather a gift that, in turn, made the weight of the world less cumbersome, and I am forever grateful.” 

Help Les Dames d’Escoffier New York award its largest pool of scholarships during this milestone anniversary and at a crucial time.  This money funds freedom: freedom to pursue an education, and freedom to pursue professional dreams.  The Fortify at 45 campaign embraces all donors, offering robust engagement with today’s Dames and tomorrow’s future leaders; a connection that strengthens the entire hospitality industry.  Supporting Fortify at 45 is easy, just click here to give generously.

Participating Schools and Programs: Careers Through Culinary Arts Programs (C-CAP), Cornell University School of Hotel Administration; Culinary Institute of America; Institute of Culinary Education; International Wine Center; Kingsborough Community College; Montclair State University; NYC College of Technology, New York University.

About Les Dames D’Escoffier New York (LDNY): 

LDNY is the founding and largest chapter of Les Dames d’Escoffier International (LDEI), an experienced 501c3 non-profit organization. LDNY’s mission is to advance and support aspiring professional women in food and beverage, as well as to champion critical industry issues. Our vision is guided by three objectives: Education, Advocacy, and Philanthropy. Since 1977, LDNY has awarded more than $2 million in scholarships to over 1,000 recipients. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn at @lesdamesny.

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