Why the owner of The Drake in Laguna raises money for music in local schools – Orange County Register
On December 6, at the launch party for The Drake Gives, owner Alec Glasser simply said, “The restaurant exists and The Drake Gives exists because I learned the saxophone in public school. Without it, we would not be here today. It is essential.
He attributes his musical education to his success in the hospitality industry – first as an elevator operator, then night bell captain in New York at the Drake Hotel – and now as the owner of his jazz club restaurant in Laguna Beach. Now he is ready to give back.
He founded The Drake Gives, a non-profit organization, whose mission is to “connect, inspire and provide disadvantaged young people with the music education, equipment and instruments they need and to use the power of music. music to improve their lives ”. The Drake Gives is in partnership with Save The Music Foundation, one of the nation’s largest nonprofit music education organizations, which was started by VH1. Save The Music Foundation has already helped more than 2,000 underserved schools across the United States start and maintain music programs.
“One of the reasons I founded the non-profit The Drake Gives foundation was to give my personal chance to have access to great music programs in my public schools,” he said. .
While working at the Drake, he served many celebrities including Sammy Davis Jr., Dean Martin, Marilyn Monroe, and Muhammad Ali. He also heard from legendary artists such as John Coltrane.
“I used to hang out in the kitchen and when the guys took their breaks they would go into the kitchen and we would hang out together and I would talk to them,” he said.
“I learned the values of hard work, service to others, earned trust and many other traits that I have relied on for the rest of my life,” he said. “My wish is that today’s generation of children have the same opportunity. “
The launch, which took place at the restaurant on December 6, brought together supporters who bid in a live auction on a guitar signed by Sammy Hagar, as well as musical artists such as Macy Gray and the alum. of “American Idol” Ava August, who performed covers and original songs for audiences.
Those who missed the sold-out event will still have a chance to contribute. The Drake Gives is an integrated component of the restaurant that will continue to raise funds through Round It Up America and with special events.