The National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF) announced that it has established a scholarship fund in the name of the late Stephen P. Donatone. The NRAEF received a pledge of $250,000 from the family of Donatone to create an endowed scholarship in his name.

It will support the NRAEF's ProStart students and the foundation's mission to enhance the stature of the restaurant industry. ProStart provides 95,000 high school students nationwide a platform to discover new interests.

"We are incredibly grateful for this generous donation from Stephen P. Donatone's family," said Rob Gifford, executive vice president of philanthropic initiatives for the NRAEF. "We know that this scholarship will provide many of our ProStart students continued education, which will help build a pipeline of talent and foster future leaders of the restaurant industry for many years to come."

The NRAEF plans to award between $12,500 to $16,000 per year to a single student who has overcome significant obstacles and can articulate a vision for the future. The Stephen P. Donatone Scholarship recipient should demonstrate a commitment to post-secondary study to prepare for a career in the restaurant, foodservice and/or hospitality industries, as well as a dedication to community service. Preference will be given to a student from the ProStart program.

Lorna Donatone, Stephen Donatone's wife, has been a member of the NRAEF Board of Trustees since 2011 and a member of the NRA board of directors since 2005. She also serves as chief operating officer and education market president for Sodexo. Stephen Donatone was an active member of the NRAEF and NRA communities. He passed away in January 2013.

The fund is designed to last in perpetuity, and additional contributions are welcome. To donate to the fund, visit or contact Tony Morales at or 202-331-5911.

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