Lillian’s Kitchen looking to make a statewide impact for food service workers

Published 2:30 pm Thursday, April 20, 2023

Lillian’s Legacy is something beautiful that was born out of loss.

A fundraising initiative founded by Brookhaven natives Glenda and Kevin Hux, Lillian’s Legacy was created to honor the life of their daughter Lillian, who was born with a rare genetic disorder known as cardiofaciocutaneous (CFC) syndrome.

Lillian passed away in 2017 and since then, the Hux family has been joined by a dedicated group of friends and volunteers that have supported the cause of Lillian’s Legacy.

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The donations raised via the events put on by Lillian’s Legacy over the years have had a real and lasting impact in the world of CFC research.

With so much momentum in the area of CFC research recently, the time felt right for Lillian’s Legacy to serve a new cause in 2023.

From that realization has come Lillian’s Kitchen, a new way for Lillian’s life to have a positive impact on the restaurant industry.

Matt Fitzsimmons is the owner of Betty’s Eat Shop in downtown Brookhaven, and he’s been an important part of Lillian’s Legacy from its formation.

On Saturday, Fitzsimmons and his staff will host the sixth annual Lillian’s Legacy dinner, a private, ticketed event that’s one of the primary drivers of donations for the organization.

The donations raised this year by Lillian’s Kitchen will go to Giving Kitchen, an Atlanta based organization that helps food service workers in crisis.

A food service worker facing injury, illness, a death of a close family member or the destruction of their home can apply for aid through Giving Kitchen, which was founded in 2012 in response to a terminal cancer diagnosis of a young, beloved chef named Ryan Hidinger.

“It’s really about being proactive and having the funds to help people to go before they ever need them,” said Fitzsimmons. “You look at the terrible tragedy of the tornado that hit Rolling Fork and you see so many GoFundMe accounts set up to help people. We want to be able to help people in crisis and the goal is to have that aid on hand so you can reach them when they need it the most.”

Glenda and Kevin Hux know what a focused effort can accomplish when it comes to philanthropy.

There was little research being given to study cardiofaciocutaneous syndrome during Lillian’s life. In five years, Lillian’s Legacy raised over $150,000 that’s been split between CFC International and a pediatric medical emergency fund that was set up through King Daughter’s Medical Center last year.

Lillian’s Kitchen has big goals as the ideas of what’s possible begin to take shape.

Fitzsimmons has come in contact with may charitable chefs during his career as the food service industry is one that takes care of its own.

“We’re hosting the first dinner to support Lillian’s Kitchen, but the hope is that this will grow, and we’ll have other restaurants around the state that will host similar events that’ll help further this initiative,” said Fitzsimmons. “This is about reaching people all over the state and helping people when they need it the most, even if they don’t live in our town.”

Those wishing to donate to Lillian’s Kitchen can do so through this link,

“Restaurants are a place that people often come to when they’re grieving or going through a rough patch in life,” said Fitzsimmons. “When you’re hurting, it feels good to sit down with your close friends and share a meal. It’s comforting. We want to be able to reciprocate that feeling of support to food service workers through Lillian’s Kitchen.”