Leading Into New Communities Inc. (LINC), the Wilmington-based nonprofit organization providing transitional services to men and women returning from prison, as well as youth development services for African-American men ages 16 to 24, will host its fifth annual Milestones Dinner on Feb. 4 at the Hotel Ballast.
Brandon Chrostowski, founder and executive director of Edwin's Leadership and Restaurant Institute in Cleveland, Ohio, and 2016 CNN Hero, will present the keynote address, which will be followed by a screening of the Oscar-nominated documentary Knife Skills by Academy Award winning director Thomas Lennon. Knife Skills showcases the launch of Edwin's Restaurant.
Edwin's is a premier French restaurant that gives formerly incarcerated individuals a foundation in the culinary and hospitality industry while providing a support network necessary for their long-term success. The Edwin’s re-entry mission and programs parallel those of LINC.
As stated on Edwin’s website, Chrostowski believes that “every human being, regardless of their past, has the right to a fair and equal future.”
LINC Executive Director Frankie Roberts said he met Chrostowski when he was in town for the 2017 Cucalorus Film Festival, where Knife Skills was screened. Roberts said that Chrostowski reached out to him because he was interested in finding out more about LINC’s work in the community.
“He came out to our campus to see our operation, and I went to see his film about his job training program,” Roberts said. “By the end of the film, I told him I should be asking for his autograph.”
Roberts said that it was a natural fit to invite Chrostowski to this year’s Milestones Dinner. And with the help of a generous donation on behalf of LINC supporters Linda and Reid Murchison, the hope became a reality.
“He runs the most successful French restaurant in Cleveland and an outstanding training program,” Roberts said. “It means a lot to have a guy of that caliber helping us to fine tune our program because he has proven that he knows how to do it.”
Tickets for the event are on sale now for $50 until Jan. 28 when they will increase to $60. For sponsorships and online ticket purchases, visit LINC's website or or call 332-1132.
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