Famous Chef Helps Build A Dream For Coast Kids

The old gym at the Lynn Meadows Discovery Center is undergoing a major transformation.

Chef Emeril Lagasse and his wife Alden are striving for the new Children's Performing Arts and Education Center. They are the national campaign co-chairs for the project.

"We both believe and feel that there is no tomorrow without preserving children today, teaching and mentoring children today to make a healthy tomorrow. And so I can't say enough about that, sincerely from Alden and I's heart," said Lagasse.

"We're not a big city. We're not like Manhattan where you have a museum on every corner, and all of this culture and Broadway and all of that. We don't have that here. And so to have this as a resource I think is really important," said Alden Lagasse.

Alden Lagasse grew up here on the Coast, and was a good friend as well as tennis partner of Lynn Meadows.

She and Emeril are building a home in Pass Christian, and they not only want to join the community- they want to help.

"We get asked to do 50 to 65 of these a year, and we don't really respond because a lot of it is the quality of what the facility is or what the dream is. Secondly is the quality of the board of directors to be honest with you and the volunteers which are, you know, that's what really makes it work. And so when you start feeling all of those positive elements here at the Lynn Meadows center.Alden and I are just so excited to be a part of this," said Emeril Lagasse.

"This theatre is the only theatre that is primarily and directly concerned with young people and the performing arts. There are lots of theatres that do wonderful work with children but they're primarily adult performing arts facilities. This one is primarily for children," said Lynn Meadows director Betsy Grant.

And the children- complete with chef's hats- as well as other community members, came out to show their support.

The Lagasses will have events throughout the community to help raise more than two million dollars for this project.

The performing arts center will be in use by the Spring.