Circuit of The Americas’ official catering and hospitality partner, Sodexo, has donated more than $142,000 to local community groups by partnering with nonprofit organizations on food service efforts surrounding the inaugural FORMULA 1 UNITED STATES GRAND PRIX, held Nov. 16-18, 2012. Austin-area clubs and civic groups partnered with Sodexo’s professional food service personnel and helped staff certain concession areas around the Circuit on race weekend. A portion of the sales generated at these concession stands was returned to the nonprofit organizations involved.
One of Sodexo’s roles in serving Circuit of The Americas is to compliment the key sustainability initiatives the Circuit pledged to the City of Austin. This includes use of local vendors, reducing carbon foot print and a commitment to strengthening the local community. This unique program for area non-profits brought together Sodexo’s chefs and a thousand-plus culinary, serving and event support staff ensure a unique and authentic Austin experience during race weekend.
Sodexo Chef and Senior Director of Culinary Services Russell DeCesare appreciated the time spent working with the nonprofit organizations. "These volunteers brought a lot of positive energy and passion for their respective causes to a very busy weekend,” DeCesare noted. “They worked hard and were more than willing to help in any way to get the job done, even if that meant learning something new. We plan to keep in touch with the organizations that helped us to see how they are doing.”
The experience and interaction with the volunteers made an impact all around the Circuit, bringing exposure to groups that support a wide range of worthy causes. Volunteers from the 34 organizations expressed appreciation for the generosity of Sodexo and to Circuit of The Americas for the opportunity.
“We do a lot of fundraisers, but the percentage of sales offered by Sodexo for an event of this size was truly generous and a no-brainer for our organization,” said Tony Guzman, coach of Central Texas Legends Baseball, who worked long hours at the Grand Plaza, serving everything from Paella to coffee to race goers. Guzman was helping raise funds to send a team of young baseball players to the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y., for a tournament.
Another organization working in the Grand Plaza was Gerry Monroe, who was raising money for the Mr. VIP Sports Foundation, which provides grants to underprivileged students so they can be involved in organized sporting activities. “I have volunteered at a lot of high-profile events, but working the Grand Prix with Sodexo was just an all-around great experience,” said Monroe. “The Sodexo team worked with patience and professionalism and they handled an event of this magnitude with great skill; I can’t wait to work with them again next year!”
In addition to the non-profit donation, Sodexo also donated all surplus food, a full 53’ semi trailer, to the Austin Food Bank Monday following race.