Like Peas and Carrots


Save the date for Eats & Beats: a night of delicious food and toe tapping music


Story by Lia Picard
Photography courtesy of Michele Stumpe


Music and food is a harmonious duo at Eats & Beats.

The eighth annual Eats & Beats, a fundraiser for Children of Conservation and Giving Kitchen, goes down on Wednesday, October 3, at the Fairmont. In eager anticipation of this spectacular fete, we chatted with Children of Conservation co-founder and Giving Kitchen board member Michele Stumpe to get the scoop on the event’s history and what we can expect at this year.

The brainchild of Michele and Kerry Stumpe, Children of Conservation was founded in 2009. “We had volunteered at an African sanctuary and started to see how the biggest issue with conservation was the people - and the issues they were facing with education and poverty,” explains Michele. The people who worked on the sanctuary couldn’t send their kids to school because nothing was offered past the second grade. She says, “There are organizations to help the animals, but no one is approaching the issue from a humanitarian perspective. We’re making it economically viable and sustainable.”

To do this they work directly with conservationists. A lot of the focus is on conservation workers who usually can’t afford school or education. Children of Conservation makes jobs more desirable by giving the workers an opportunity to educate their kids. They’ve accomplished this by providing hundreds of scholarships to children of sanctuary workers in Uganda, Kenya, Zambia, South Africa and Cameroon. They’ve also built a middle school in Zambia that provides education to over 190 children in communities near the Chimfunshi Wildlife Orphanage.

When Michele and Kerry aren’t flexing their philanthropic chops, they’re working their day jobs in the hospitality industry. Michele, a hospitality lawyer and original Giving Kitchen board member, knew when GK was founded that they wanted to give back to an industry that has given so much to them. The 30 restaurants who participate at Eats & Beats are generous with their time and delicious eats, so Children of Conservation is happy to share the proceeds with Giving Kitchen. Michele hopes that their event serves as a model for other fundraisers and notes, “It’s become standard now that most events that benefit from restaurants are giving back to the hospitality community.”

Don’t miss your chance to enjoy culinary delights from restaurants like Local Three, Davio’s and Leon’s Full Service while your ears feast on the musical stylings of Georgia’s own The Whiskey Gentry. There are also some amazing silent auction items up for grabs, like a culinary trip to Italy, a week in a luxury Jamaican villa, a behind-the-scenes party at the Fox Theatre and more. Tickets start at $75 and include unlimited access to tastings, open bar, the concert and wine wall.