Charlotte Restauranteur Wins National Award

Tom Sasser named Humanitarian of the Year ahead of Taste of the Nation event

Tom Sasser, president and owner of Harper’s Restaurant Group, was named Humanitarian of the Year by a nonprofit working to end childhood hunger, No Kid Hungry. The group announced the award in Washington, D.C., at its yearly summit this week, noting his work for the campaign, donations to the cause, and local efforts. His work here in Charlotte includes 20 years organizing Charlotte's Taste of the Nation event, which takes place tonight. While in D.C. accepting the award, he also spent time on Capitol Hill advocating for children to receive access to healthy meals over the summer, when school is out of session. He called winning the award a great honor, but shared the congratulations.

"The great volunteer local committee, the great participating restaurants, and the great partner companies that support us each year allowed me to be recognized," he says.

Debbie Shore, co-founder of No Kid Hungry, will be in town for the event, and gave heavy praise to Sasser for his work here.

“As a result of his tireless dedication and leadership, the event has raised enough for No Kid Hungry to feed kids in need more than 170 million healthy meals," Shore says of his accomplishment. "Tom is truly a champion for our cause and for America’s children, and we’re honored to recognize him as our humanitarian of the year.” 

The Charlotte event will be held in the Wells Fargo Atrium. Upstream and Mimosa Grill, two of Sasser's restaurants, will participate. Other restaurants that will be represented at tonight’s event include 300 East, Dressler’s, Fig Tree, and Lumiere. Each of the restaurants will offer guests a tasting, and there will also be mixologists on hand stirring up cocktails. Though they are not listed to be at tonight’s event, Sasser also owns three Harper’s Restaurants locations, in Charlotte, Greensboro, and Columbia, S.C.

Taste of the Nation begins at 7 p.m., and general admission tickets, which can be bought at the door, are $85. The local charities benefiting from ticket sales and silent auction donations are the Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina and the Community Culinary School of Charlotte.

Sasser has been on the Charlotte restaurant scene for a long time now. Back in 2001, we named him our Restaurateur of the Year in Charlotte magazine, the third person to earn that title. 

Categories: Dine & Dish, Food + Drink