Stetson Math Professor and Master Chef organizes fundraising dinner for Ukraine humanitarian relief

DELAND, Fla. — A Math Professor at Stetson University who is also an award-winning Master Chef is organizing a fundraising dinner for Humanitarian relief for Ukraine.


Dr. Hari Pulapaka teaches Advanced Mathematics at Stetson, but recently, he says he’s been wondering what he can do to help the people of Ukraine.

READ: One month in, Orlando still firmly in Ukraine’s corner

“With the recent events of the invasion of Ukraine, and the subsequent Humanitarian crisis, that has become increasingly so over the days, I thought immediately of how can I help and what Should I do?”

The answers to those questions took Dr. Pulapaka to the kitchen. As a Master Chef, and founder of the Global Cooking School, he says he saw an opportunity to connect Central Florida’s culinary community for a common cause.

Ukraine Humanitarian Relief Fundraiser Dinner - Tickets are selling fast.

Posted by Global Cooking School on Thursday, March 17, 2022

“I’ve always been of the mindset that food brings people together in the most positive way possible,” Pulapaka said. “Feeding somebody is an act of utmost modesty and humanity in my opinion.”

The event will be held on April 23rd at the Center at Deltona, and so far, includes a half dozen award-winning chefs from around Central Florida; names like John Rivers from 4 Rivers Smokehouse, Tony Elkhouri from Cedar’s Cafe, Tonda Corrente from Tonda’s Kitchen, Kevin Fonso, and Barry Honan.

READ: Central Florida-based team evacuates thousands from Ukraine

Each Chef has been using their food to support humanitarian efforts for years.

“This one is a gathering of like-minded professionals who are just here to help anyway we can,” Pulapaka said.

Tickets to the event are $100 dollars, or donors can contribute directly on their website.

Their goal is to raise $25,000. Pulapaka is planning a second fundraiser for May.

READ: ‘Ripping our hearts out:’ Enraged Central Floridians watch Ukraine invasion and pray

For more information, click here.

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Joe Kepner

Joe Kepner, WFTV.com

I unloaded the U-Haul in Orlando in 2008, just in time to cover the Magic's run to the 2009 NBA Finals.

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