Restaurant owner gives back with Culinary Carnival for Sunshine Kids

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A restaurant owner who wanted to give back to the community turned to the Sunshine Kids (KTRK)

When a northwest Houston chef decided he wanted to give back to children, he reached out to the nonprofit organization, the Sunshine Kids. The organization's goal is to create positive activities for children going through cancer. So, Peli Peli Restaurant's Paul Friedman and his team started brainstorming and created a Culinary Carnival that would include art, entertainment, and of course, lots of food! Since Friedman is from South Africa, kids will receive a "passport" to try food from that region of the world.

Friday, some Sunshine Kids children got a sneak peek as to what they'll expect at Saturday's private event. While playing together and creating art on their new aprons, it would be hard to guess some of these kids battled cancer not too long ago.

"I had a, you know, brain tumor," says seven-year-old Michael Grant.

"It was a lot of trips to the doctor, and a lot of needles," adds nine-year-old Alden Duncan, who recently recovered from leukemia.

Positive days are so important for these kids.

"Our main goal is to take a time or season of life that's hard and has a lot of hard things that you don't want to look forward to and give them something to look forward to," says Mary Cameron Carroll, the Assistant Director of Children's Services at the Sunshine Kids.

Peli Peli plans to make Saturday's Culinary Carnival an event to look forward to.

"We want to be more than a restaurant. We don't want to just serve food. We want to help people. Our guests and our customers are volunteering with us. We'll have 40 guests here with us," says Peli Peli Executive Chef and Co-owner Paul Friedman.

After Friday's mini culinary session, Friedman already received rave reviews.

"It's awesome, it's fun. It entertains kids, too," says Grant.

"It's great for people to give their time, their money, their efforts, and I hope god blesses them," says Fidel Ortiz. His daughter recently beat lymphoma.

For Friedman and his team, giving back to cancer-stricken children in their families is a no-brainer.

"How can you not when you hear the stories of these kids?" adds Friedman.

For the rest of the month of January, Peli Peli will be donating to the Sunshine Kids. Peli Peli offers a four-course dinner for $45, with $3 going to the charity. The meal features your choice of an Espetada, Curried Chicken, or African Kinglip along with appetizer, salad and dessert options. Peli Peli also offers a $25 three-course brunch with $2 going to Sunshine Kids.

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