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The Greater Houston Restaurant Association to Honor James Coney Island at Annual Fundraising Gala.

Houston, TX (January 10, 2013) – The Greater Houston Restaurant Association (GHRA) will host its annual Gourmet Gala on January 19, 2013 at the JW Marriott. “Diamonds and Spurs,” sponsored by Sysco Houston, Inc., is one of the association’s biggest fundraisers of the year, raising well over one million dollars in the past eight years. This year, the GHRA chose to honor James Coney Island for their contribution to the restaurant industry in Houston.

James Coney Island has been a staple in the Houston restaurant industry for 90 years. At James Coney Island, whether you are a relative, a customer or an employee, you are a part of the family.  Beginning in 1923, the original downtown location regularly had lines of people around the block, all waiting to get a 5-cent hot dog. By 1988, James Coney Island was selling more than 30,000 hot dogs a day! Though the chain has grown exponentially, the famous coney and chili recipes haven’t changed in 90 years.

The gala will feature a gourmet dinner, wine donated by Spec’s and specialty cocktails provided by Terressentia and Liquid Assets. Guests at the gala will play on casino tables and partake in a photo booth, all while enjoying the country-rock tunes of County Road 101.  Guests will also have the opportunity to win a custom pair of homemade leather boots by boot maker to the stars, Rocky Carroll, purchase a fine bottle of wine in the wine pull and bid on fabulous gifts, vacations and wine packages in the silent auction.

During the gala, TRA President, Scott Plowman, will speak on the state of the association as well as announce the Texas nominees for the National Restaurant Association’s Diversity and Restaurant Neighbor Awards. Plowman is the owner and operator of Parkway Grill & Sports Bar in Wichita Falls, the go-to place for sports, great food and drinks in the area.

Proceeds from this event go toward the Greater Houston Restaurant Association Scholarship Endowment Fund at the Conrad N. Hilton College, the Texas Restaurant Association Education Foundation, as well as the GHRA education scholarship fund, which gives scholarships to students in the hospitality and culinary arts field. These funds help those students learn the knowledge and skills necessary to succeed in the industry when they may not have otherwise had the chance.

Special thanks to our sponsors who helped make this evening a huge success: Sysco Houston, Inc., US Foods, Glazier Foods Company, Freedman Meats, Louisiana Foods, Hormel, Brother’s Produce, Houston Uniform/Accent Signs, Landry’s, Heartland Payment Systems, InsurTexas/Nationwide, Hotchkiss Insurance, Pappas Restaurants, GHCVB and Ben E. Keith.

About The Greater Houston Restaurant Association

The Greater Houston Restaurant Association (GHRA) serves as a valuable foundation for restaurants to successfully establish and maintain their businesses. Our mission is to ensure the health of the GHRA and promote the growth of our industry through education, public awareness and governmental affairs. For more information regarding membership with the GHRA or TRA, visit www.GHRA.com or www.Restaurantville.com.

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