NFTE recieves $1,000 award from Darden Foundation grants program

Pictured are Gary Marco, managing partner for Seasons 52 Coral Gables; Alice Horn, executive director for NFTE; Denise Erwin, sales field manager for Seasons 52; Mark Trowbridge, CEO of Coral Gables Chamber and Drew Kern, chair of the board for the Coral Gables Chamber.

NFTE, the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship, today announced it received a $1,000 grant as part of the inaugural Restaurant Community Grant Program from the Darden Foundation, the charitable arm of Darden Restaurants Inc.

The Restaurant Community Grant Program is a local grants program intended to help support nonprofit organizations in the hundreds of communities Darden and its restaurant brands serve. The donation enables NFTE’s South Florida office to inspire young people from low-income communities to take ownership of their futures through the power of entrepreneurship education.

Along with Seasons 52 and Bahama Breeze, all of the restaurants within the Darden family — Red Lobster, Olive Garden, Longhorn Steakhouse and The Capital Grille — are helping to award more than $1.7 million in local grants to nearly 900 exceptional nonprofit organizations nationwide. Nonprofits receiving grants support one of Darden’s three key focus areas: access to postsecondary education, preservation of natural resources, and hunger.

“Thanks to the generous support of the Darden Foundation, we have the ability to provide entrepreneurship education scholarships allowing deserving students to enroll in NFTE programs this coming school year,” said Alice Horn, executive director of NFTE South Florida.

“Each grant is not just a check — it is an opportunity to make an impact, from providing essential services in South Florida, to mentoring students in Phoenix and supporting environmental education in New England,” said Drew Madsen, president and chief operating officer of Darden Restaurants Inc. “Our service philosophy extends far beyond the walls of our restaurants. These grants bring that philosophy to life by helping to develop a better future for those we serve, one community at a time.”

For more information about the Darden Foundation, visit online at For additional information on NFTE, visit

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