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Whisking Up Scholarship Winners!

May 6, 2024

Michael Ty Culinary Award Winners Alicia Liu and Joseph Snyder

At Chefs for Kids, education is at our core. While most of our programming focuses on educating young kids about healthy eating and living habits, we can’t forget that healthy eating starts in the kitchen. With that in mind, a little over a year ago Chefs for Kids announced the beginning of a new culinary scholarship, The Michael Ty Culinary Award. 

There is no doubt that Chefs for Kids would not be where it is today without the vision, and support, of Michael Ty. It was Michael who first had the idea to start this nonprofit, and he gathered a few other people, known collectively as our founders, to turn that idea into a reality. For the next 30+ years of his life he remained a steadfast supporter of our organization until his passing in 2022. Michael always gave with a humble, open heart, and his family continues his legacy of giving and volunteerism to this day. 

The Ty Family poses for a photo at Chefs for Kids Dinner & Auction 32.

Last year at the 31st Dinner & Auction, the Michael Ty Culinary Award was declared in his honor to provide academic financial aid to the next generation of culinarians in Southern Nevada. Now, just a year later at our annual Dinner & Auction #32, we were proud to honor the first-ever recipients of the Michael Ty Culinary Award. Additionally, we were able to raise $23,100 to ensure funding for future scholarships, thanks to our expert Celebrity Auctioneer, Chet Buchanan.

Celebrity Auctioneer Chet Buchanan raises money for the scholarship program amongst a crowd of attendees.

And with that, we’re pleased to announce here the inaugural winners Alicia Liu and Joseph Snyder. Both received a carving set and chef’s starter kit from State Restaurant Group, and each student will receive $1,500 towards their education at UNLV in the Fall.

A little more about our winners:

Alicia Liu is a current senior in the culinary program at Southeast Career Technical Academy. She regularly volunteers with Serving Our Kids Foundation, which provides weekend meal bags to children in Southern Nevada who would otherwise go hungry. She will be attending UNLV in the Fall and hopes to become a restaurateur one day.

“I dream of owning a Peruvian restaurant that I can oversee every day. I want a restaurant with close-knit staff that attracts anyone from any background to show them just a piece of my culture.”

Joseph Snyder is a current Freshman at UNLV. As a young boy he spent lots of time in the kitchen with his grandma and pop pop. He reignited his passion for cooking during the COVID-19 pandemic, learning many techniques and recipes from social media platforms like YouTube and TikTok. He then put those skills to use working at Lot One in his hometown of Arvada, Colorado, where Executive Chef Patrick Maciula gave him the privilege of creating his own specials sheet – which sold out!

“I would love to get my master’s from UNLV after graduation, and then combine my degree, passion for food & beverage, and my people skills to propel myself into a food & beverage manager job at a luxury country club.”

Congratulations to our inaugural recipients of the Michael Ty Culinary Award!

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