About the Foundation
Love of Community — Another Shake Family Tradition
“Our father touched so many lives that we still receive incredible letters talking about his kindness and generosity. Dad never refused food to those who came to our door hungry, nor would he fail to find odd jobs for people who needed work. With food in their bellies and a bit of money in their pockets, many were given the chance they needed to get back on their feet.”
—Benji, David, Chris, Sabu, Jr., Angelo and Tene Shake, 1994
Since Sabu passed away in 1998, his beloved Isabella and their sons have endeavored to follow his lead in philanthropy, community service and good, old-fashioned human kindness. They established the Sabu Shake Memorial Fundraiser, held annually since 1999. “So far, we have raised more than $1.4 million for the Salvation Army,” Chris says proudly. “That organization is a fantastic benefit to our community and one that my dad believed in and supported.”
Major Tedd Lowcock of the Monterey Peninsula Corps of The Salvation Army made these comments to the Shake family in January 2006: “What is left to say? The response to your efforts this year were amazing. In a year when people have already been so generous…the outpouring of response was overwhelming. What this tells me is that people in this community indeed appreciated the legacy left by your father. And we appreciate the legacy you are leaving in his name by doing this project for us each year. Your efforts on our behalf make it possible for us to continue to meet the requests for assistance that come to us.”
“My Dad would always take care of people,” recalls Sabu, Jr. “He would feed anyone who came to his door, whether or not they were able to pay. He used to say ‘you’ll never leave my restaurant hungry.’”
Other organizations that the Shake family supports include the Food Bank for Monterey County and World Vision International. Their continued support of the Monterey Bay Aquarium and its Seafood Watch Program goes beyond monetary donations: in the Shake family restaurants, great care is taken to serve only seafood that is sustainably harvested. “We’re proud to work with the Shake family,” says Aquarium co-founder and Executive Director Julie Packard.
Commitment to community today drives the Shake family in all its business ventures. From donating simple gift certificates for school, church and service group fundraisers to raising thousands of dollars to support Monterey Peninsula charitable organizations, The family never forgets those who are less fortunate. “The Shake family has been a great contributor to our community,” says former Monterey Mayor Peter Coniglio.