On Tuesday, May 14, 2019, Ruth’s Chris Steak House at Silver Shells Resort and Jim ‘N Nicks Bar-B-Q hosted the community, loyal patrons and guests for a Celebration of Life fundraiser for Joel Iral, a long-time employee of both restaurants who was killed in a vehicle-involved scooter accident on Thursday, March 27, 2019. Held in Ruth’s Chris’ Courtyard and Terrace, the event raised $28,595 through donations, raffle, silent and live auctions.
Guests enjoyed live music by Michael J Thomas, decadent catering stations specially prepared by the Ruth’s Chris Steak House and Jim ‘N Nicks Bar-B-Q teams, a silent auction filled with items donated by local businesses, a wine pull raffle, and a live auction hosted by Luxury Estates Auction Company. Throughout the night, photo montages played on various screens, showcasing Iral during his happiest moments with his children, family members, and friends from the Emerald Coast.
Due in large part to the support of the community, many of whom have come to know and love Iral during his tenure at both restaurants, the event raised $28,595. Since the event, Iral has been transferred back to the Philippines where a proper burial ceremony was held with his family, friends, and children. The money raised will directly pay off the tuition expenses for two of Iral’s children who are currently enrolled in college.
For those who were unable to attend, donations can be made through the Joel Iral Celebration of Life GoFundMe page www.GoFundMe.com/JoelIral. Donations may also be dropped off at Ruth’s Chris Steak House, located at 15000 Emerald Coast Pkwy, Destin, FL 32541.