Safe Harbor Maritime Academy Receives $250,000 California Pizza Kitchen Renovation

Apr 05, 2013, 11:00 ET from Safe Harbor Maritime Academy

JACKSONVILLE, Fla., April 5, 2013 /PRNewswire-iReach/ -- Safe Harbor Maritime Academy, a therapeutic residential home for at-risk teen boys, announces the unveiling of a large renovation project underwritten by a $250,000 grant from Los Angeles-based California Pizza Kitchen.

California Pizza Kitchen executives spent five months planning and staging Safe Harbor's extensive renovation to include the entire food service department, appliances and all equipment, dining hall, media room, pantry, laundry, and workout room.  To be completed over ten days by professional contractors, the project received final touches by CPK employees, who will also install a new raised-bed vegetable garden, while CPK chefs provide cooking classes and food safety training for students.

"We're excited and privileged to receive this amazing renovation project by an industry-leading restaurant group.  After one look at the sparkling open-concept kitchen at their [St. Johns] Town Center location, we can only imagine how absolutely stunning our new galley is going to be," explains Dr. Robbie Smith, director, who notes that Safe Harbor's kitchen is called a 'galley' as a nod to the maritime theme of the academy.  Smith and her husband, Dr. Doug Smith, co-founded the unique facility which has cared for troubled teenage boys for nearly 30 years.

"Considering the other projects that California Pizza Kitchen is also underwriting – the boathouse, dining hall, workout room, pantry, and garden – we are absolutely blown away by the generosity of this company," Smith continues.  "It is an example of how private business contributes so much to nonprofits that typically goes unrecognized," she explains.

Safe Harbor's galley represents much more than food service; it is part of the school's educational curriculum.  Students earn culinary arts credits while learning menu planning, food safety, and cooking – as the teens prepare all meals under the watchful eye of a caring adult.  Galley supervisor Sherry Myers emphasizes that the project impacts even more than meals and education. 

"This incredible donation by California Pizza Kitchen is not just a kitchen renovation and investment in the boys' education," says Myers, "it's all that plus a touch of home.  Since the kitchen is the heart of a home, I believe that our galley is the heart of Safe Harbor in many ways," she continues.  "By providing a sparkling new galley, CPK partners with us to provide a place for nourishment, education, and a warm home-like environment for boys who need to be away from their families for a year or more," she adds.

Safe Harbor ( is a residential, educational, vocational facility on the St. Johns River, founded in 1984 with a mission: to effect positive and permanent change in the lives of at-risk teenage boys, helping them become men of character, integrity, and vision.

In 2009, Safe Harbor garnered national attention as the subject of a Hallmark Channel movie, "Safe Harbor," when Hollywood producers Norton Wright, Josef Anderson and Jerry Jameson told the colorful story of its inception.  The movie continues to be aired periodically on the Hallmark Channel.  The unique academy for at-risk boys has also been profiled in multiple national news media outlets over the years.  The Safe Harbor website, has more information about the program for troubled boys.

Media Contact:

Dr. Robbie Smith Safe Harbor Maritime Academy    Web:, 904-757-7918,

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SOURCE Safe Harbor Maritime Academy