LEWES, Del. - Paul Cullen says he was inspired to start Paul Kares, Inc. while raising money for local charities through in-home dining. He says the pandemic slowed down the process, but a "Concert for the Kids" at the Milton Theater on Father's Day officially kicked off his plans by raising money for new programs and summer camps.
"Most people know that I used to be a rock star at one time," Cullen says. "I played in the band Bad Company in the early 90's."
Cullen is also a professional and private chef. He cares about helping young people follow similar passions and started Paul Kares, Inc. to pay his experiences forward.
"With music it could be a clarinet," Cullen says. "We've got a couple of those donated that we're ready to give out and then education. We're going to do stuff here also. I plan on doing a music business class where I can tell them my experiences over the last 42 years, what to do and what not to do."
Paul Kares, Inc. offers lessons in cooking and music, but another goal is to teach kids about the overall industries and eventually have an all-kids run event at Paul's Kitchen and its concert venue, The Room at Cedar Grove in Lewes.
Executive Director Michael Whitehouse has writers and musicians in his family.
"It takes a lot of encouragement to keep going in those fields," Whitehouse says.
He is thankful to be a part of the nonprofit and its goals to offer workshops and even college scholarships.
"It may be just as simple as helping them purchase musical instruments or tools for cooking," Whitehouse says. "We're cheerleaders in a conduit to get those resources back to the children that are excited about music and becoming chefs."
Cullen is thankful for a successful career and giving young people opportunities to be thankful for.
"I've been lucky enough to make a living following my passions," Cullen says. "Whatever it may be, maybe they don't need to get into that business, maybe it's another business, but at least I could help them follow their passions."
Paul Kares, Inc. is getting applications out to local middle, high and music schools. Whitehouse says they hope to offer the nonprofit's first scholarship this summer.
Cullen says interested volunteers can help at events by checking guests in at the door or they can even cook and serve food.
The nonprofit's next fundraiser is a golf tournament on October 4th, 2022 at Mulligans Point.