Visit to Arc Broward’s teaching kitchen features life-changing philanthropy

'Food for Thought' event

April 4, 2022

Flames danced off the pans during a Food Network-style cooking lesson at Arc Broward in Sunrise.

Soon after, table after table of ravenous visitors from the Community Foundation of Broward got to savor the flavors of salmon, asparagus and rice, prepared right before their eyes at an impressive teaching kitchen.

Community Foundation Fundholders, Legacy Society members, professional advisors and others participate in the first Food for Thought event of 2022, which was held at Arc Culinary.

Arc Broward really put the “food” in the Community Foundation’s first “Food for Thought” experience of 2022.

A Foundation “Food for Thought” is an exclusive opportunity for our Fundholders, Legacy Society members, professional advisors and others to learn more about Broward’s big issues as well as the work of the Foundation.

Arc Broward – which helps children and adults with developmental disabilities and other life challenges – is a shining example of how support from the Community Foundation makes life better in Broward.

Support from the Mary N. Porter Legacy Fund at the Community Foundation enabled Arc Broward to build a new professional teaching kitchen. The Mary N. Porter Commercial Kitchen is the centerpiece of Arc Broward’s expanded culinary training program, where local residents who face unique barriers to employment can learn new skills to launch culinary careers.

The Arc Culinary program provides high-quality catering for parties, business lunches and other events. The revenues support Arc Broward’s professional training and job placement efforts, which help more residents become self-sufficient. Thanks to Mary’s visionary estate gift to the Community Foundation, generations of young people who need a hand up will get the chance to gain valuable new career skills.

“It is a creative, mission-based enterprise designed to generate revenue while at the same time – at its core mission – allowing students in this programs to be all that they can be and as independent as possible,” Arc Broward President/CEO Dennis Haas said.

During the Food for Thought, Community Foundation visitors toured the teaching kitchen made possible by Mary’s support. In addition to enjoying an up-close cooking lesson from Arc Culinary’s professional staff, they learned how Arc’s students are gaining life-changing skills. They saw firsthand the BOLD impact from Mary’s endowed gift to the Community Foundation.

“It’s so nice to have this kitchen, to see it and know the impact it’s having forever,” Community Foundation President/CEO Jennifer O’Flannery Anderson said during the visit to Arc Broward. “What’s so amazing about this place is that we are really helping empower young people and adults to find what they know exists within them. ... It’s a great legacy for Mary Porter.”


(Left to Right) Kurt Zimmerman, Craig Zeleznik, Kim Vassar, Bridget Harrell, David DeLeon, and Jennifer O’Flannery Anderson attend the Community Foundation’s visit to Arc Culinary.

More about Mary Porter

Mary Porter

Arc Broward’s commercial teaching kitchen is a powerful example of Mary’s commitment to building a better future for the community she loved. The endowed Mary N. Porter Legacy Fund at the Community Foundation provides a dedicated source of support for construction, renovations and other major capital projects that make life better for Broward residents.

Mary wanted a way to support building efforts for crucial community programs, long after she was gone. So, Mary partnered with the Community Foundation to create an endowed source of support dedicated to capital projects.

Now on Mary’s behalf, the Community Foundation finds exciting projects that make the greatest community impact and carry on Mary’s name. Our expert team vets building proposals and collaborates with a special committee, which includes Board members and former Board members, to recommend the most impactful projects. After our Board approves a grant, our team follows up to make sure grant recipients make the best use of Mary’s support.

We are honored to be stewards of Mary’s bold commitment to Broward, which is made stronger by the enduring power of endowment.

Learn More

To learn how you can create a BOLD impact with a charitable fund at the Community Foundation, contact Vice President of Philanthropic Services Nancy Thies at or 954-761-9503.

Food for Thought

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