SAN DIEGO - A local restaurateur whose tireless efforts raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for victims of Hurricane Sandy was one of several people honored by his alma mater Saturday night.
James Brennan, CEO of the Enlightened Hospitality Group, was awarded the Bishop Charles Francis Buddy Award at today’s event at the University of San Diego.
"It's very humbling, it's certainly nice to be recognized, it's certainly a little surreal to be honored at a young age like this," Brennan told 10News.
Brennan, who co-owns both the Stingaree nightclub downtown and the Herringbone restaurant in La Jolla -- reportedly raised more than $2 million for hurricane victims in his hometown of Rockaway, N.Y.
"We significantly helped about 200 families over the course of 18 months or so," Brennan said.
The local businessman used his restaurants as a platform to raise money that would go towards helping Rockaway residents who lost everything in the hurricane purchase basic supplies. In November 2012, he also brought out 15 children and their mothers to San Diego so they could temporarily live and attend school at the All Hallows Academy in La Jolla, free of charge, during the recovery.
Other honorees Saturday included Shobha Shrestha -- founder of Women for Peace and Democracy in Nepal -- and Kevin Dooley, founder of the USD Wine Classic.