FRLA Educational Foundation Awards $50,000 Grant to Marathon High School ProStart Program

 ~ Funds will allow for major transformation for culinary program through new commercial-grade kitchen equipment ~

L-R: FRLA Monroe Board Members Mike Weber, Jessica Cain, & Bill Lay; Chef Carl Stanton (Instructor); Students Gaby Gutierrez, Aurora Boggs, & Aidan Gonzalez; FRLA Regional Director Lynne Hernandez; Yunior Rodriguez (FRLA Monroe Board Member); Bryan Nunez (Student); Tiffany Holmes (FRLA Monroe Board Member)


MARATHONToday, the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association Educational Foundation (FRLAEF) announced the awarding of a $50,000 Kitchen Remodel Grant for the Marathon High School ProStart Program in Monroe County.

Marathon High School was selected from over 200 ProStart participant high schools across Florida. Grant applicants highlighted their facility size, number of program participants, age of their facility, and repairs needed. The FRLAEF board reviewed the applications to determine where the grant would be most impactful.

“The FRLA Education Foundation has always been a great supporter of Florida’s high school ProStart and HTM (Hotel and Tourism Management) programs through annual mini-grants, but it is especially gratifying to make an even larger impact with this $50,000 kitchen makeover,” said Laura Rumer, Director of the FRLA Educational Foundation. “These talented students and their peers in ProStart programs across Florida represent the future of our hospitality industry, and we are incredibly proud to support their education and amazing talent as they develop skills for future careers.”

“I am extremely grateful for this grant,” said Chef Carl Stanton, Marathon High School (MHS) ProStart Instructor. “This will give us the opportunity here at MHS for a much-needed upgrade to our equipment. My students will be able to create and prepare more items and increase their skills for competitions and jobs as well.”

“We are so delighted that at long last Chef Carl Stanton and the Marathon High School ProStart program have been awarded these funds,” said Lynne Hernandez, FRLA Regional Director. “The classroom suffered damage during Hurricane Irma, but the program persisted despite those challenges. This award is so well-deserved, and we are grateful for Chef Stanton’s leadership. He is a consistent, committed educator and passionate champion for these kids and the future of our industry. Congratulations!”

The ProStart program is a nationwide, two-year program for high school students that develops the best and brightest talent into tomorrow’s food service industry leaders. From culinary techniques to management skills, ProStart’s industry-driven curriculum provides real-world opportunities and builds practical skills and career foundations that will last a lifetime. Nationally, Florida has the largest ProStart program with more than 30,000 ProStart students.

About FRLA

The Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association (FRLA) is Florida’s premier non-profit hospitality industry trade association. Founded in 1946 as the Florida Restaurant Association, FRLA merged with the Florida Hotel and Motel Association in 2006. FRLA’s more than 10,000 members include independent hoteliers and restaurateurs, household name franchises, theme parks and suppliers. The association’s mission is to protect, educate and promote Florida’s nearly $112 billion hospitality industry which represents 1.3 million employees. Dedicated to safeguarding the needs of the membership, FRLA provides legislative advocacy to ensure the voices of its members are heard and their interests are protected. The association offers regulatory compliance and food safety training through SafeStaff® and FRLA’s subsidiary, RCS Training. The FRLA Educational Foundation provides industry-developed, career-building high school programs throughout the state.