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“Local Hero Award” Recipient

Dave Rauschkolb Receives Key to the City and More

The Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association (FRLA) Northwest Florida Chapter took a moment to honor one of the area’s own restaurateurs on Thursday, July 14, 2011, as Dave Rauschkolb, owner of Bud and Alley’s, was presented with the FRLA’s first-ever “Local Hero Award.” Dave and Bud and Alley’s are hospitality industry icons known by visitors to Seaside and Northwest Florida from all over the U.S. Dave is celebrating Bud and Alley’s 25th Anniversary this year in Seaside, Florida.

According to the FRLA, the purpose of the “Local Hero Award” is to identify and recognize a local hospitality or tourism industry individual, group of individuals, or organization that has performed acts or accomplishments deserving of community recognition. Rauschkolb is a supporter of community causes and local charities and has tirelessly stood up for the protection of our state’s precious natural resources.

In 2009, Rauschkolb founded “Hands Across the Sand” (www.handsacrossthesand.org) in Seaside, Florida. Its goal is to bring attention to the need for protecting our environment from the expansion of oil drilling into Florida’s waters and to compel our state leaders to adopt clean energy policies. In 2010 and 2011, tens of thousands participated in Hands Across the Sand on beaches around the world. The very first Hands Across the Sands event, organized by Dave, was held in Florida just two months before the Deepwater Horizon oil spill disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.

“Having taken part in three Hands Across the Sand events in two years, I am awed and inspired by the tens of thousands of people all over the world who joined hands regardless of borders, politics, religion, and other differences,” Rauschkolb said in his speech at the FRLA event. “Every photo and every video I see of all these people joining hands is a testament that there is a powerful, pervasive, and collective will to come together and work to end our dependence on dirty fuels.”

Rauschkolb is passionate about keeping the Northwest Florida beaches natural, pristine, and clean, as offshore drilling has ruined what used to be beautiful beaches in Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi. But for Rauschkolb, this cannot happen to Florida. “Not on my watch, and not on yours,” he says.

Cocktails and hors d'oeuvres were served before the ceremony at Emerald Grande at HarborWalk Village, where the presentation was held. During the ceremony, Rauschkolb received many tokens of appreciation from area businesses, including two round-trip tickets to any destination provided by Vision Airlines, as well as a key to the city of Destin. Congratulations to Dave Rauschkolb!

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