Fish On Holds Benefit To Aid Orphans in the Himalayas

by Dave on April 26, 2010

Restaurateur Matt Haley has given a lot of cooking lessons but none can compare to the class he taught at the Reliance School in Nepal in January. Haley and friends were on a motorcycle trip through South Asia, and the class was held in an outdoor kitchen.

The children made lentil soup, which includes stewed greens flavored with garlic, tumeric, ginger and chili paste. Haley, however, gleaned his satisfaction from the children’s faces and not the soup.

Many of the school’s students benefit from Himalayan Children’s Charities (HCC), a nonprofit organization that provides care and education to destitute, orphaned and abandoned children in Nepal.

“The conditions in the orphanages in Nepal is heartbreaking,” says Haley, founder of SoDel Concepts, which owns six Delaware beach restaurants. “A 10-month-old baby would not let go of my finger because she didn’t want me to walk away. There were flags in a room hung for children who had died recently. It was wakeup call for me.”

Haley—who sponsors sisters Leela and Laxsmi through HCC—has long supported the organization, but now he wants to do more. On Friday, April 30, his restaurant, Fish On in Lewes, will hold the Himalayan Children’s Charities Benefit. “SoDel Concepts espouses a local philosophy, whether it comes to buying food or supporting causes,” Haley said. “But there are times like this when you need to think globally—especially when it comes to children.”

Limited to 100 guests, the evening will feature Nepalese cuisine, which Haley explored with gusto while on his journey. It also features an open bar and a live auction sponsored by Butch Emmert Auction (See live auction items below). SoDel Concepts—along with Sysco Food Service, NKS Distributers, Southern Wine & Spirit, Make My Day Event Planners & Plate Catering—is donating everything: food, event planning and beverages. Consequently, 100 percent of the $50 ticket price goes directly to the charity.

“If you saw how these children live, you’d be compelled to do everything you can,” Haley says. “In Nepal, $50 goes a long way.”

Live Auction Items:

  • Lewes Package—two-night stay at Hotel Blue; two $100 SoDel Concepts gift certificates, $100 gift certificate to Aquamarine; $50 to Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory
  • Three-course dinner for eight prepared offsite by Matt Haley
  • Two front row tickets to see the New York Yankees vs. Baltimore Orioles game at Camden Yards
  • Large basket of cheer (spirits) from Southern Wine & Spirits
  • $500 gift certificate to Azura in Rehoboth Beach
  • Spa package from Made Ya Look Salon in Dewey Beach
  • Two tickets to “Outstanding In the Field” farm dinner on Sept 6th
  • Round of Golf for four, plus cart fees at Peninsula Golf Club

If you go

What: Himalayan Children’s Charities Benefit

When: Friday, April 30 at 7 p.m.

Where: Fish On, located in the Villages of Five Points in Lewes

Tickets: $50 per person. All $50 goes to HCC.

For information: Call Fred Mazzeo at Fish On 302-645-9790 or Matt Haley at 302-228-3786.

About Himalayan Children’s Charities
Himalayan Children’s Charities (HCC) was founded by a group of American businessmen who visited a charity in Katmandu and decided each would sponsor a child to provide them with care and an education. HCC works with the government-run Nepalese Children’s Organization that has six orphanages in the country. Orphans in need are relocated to boarding schools in Katmandu, where they have access to proper nutrition, education and health care. For more information visit

About SoDel Concepts

Founded by Chef Matt Haley, SoDel Concepts last fall was named to the 2009 Inc. 500, which lists America’s fastest-growing private companies. The company’s restaurants include Fish On in Lewes, Betty’s and Lupo di Mare in Rehoboth Beach, Bluecoast in North Bethany Beach, NorthEast Seafood Kitchen in Ocean View and Catch 54 in Fenwick Island. Haley and partners Bryony Zeigler and Scott Kammerer also own Highwater Management, a hospitality management company that helped launch Que Pasa in Dewey Beach and Salt Air in Rehoboth Beach. Highwater currently manages Fins, Claws, Sports at the Beach and Waterman’s Seafood House in Ocean City, Md. Visit for more information.

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