Jamie Westendorff has extended a helping hand many times in his life and now the community is rallying to his side.

Westendorff, a local caterer and owner of Charleston Outdoor Catering, was seriously burned on his head, face and hands in a cooking accident last month. While he is recovering at home, he also is facing a host of costly medical procedures.

Friends and colleagues in the Charleston restaurant community are organizing a benefit to help with his expenses. The "Jamie Westendorff Fundraiser" will be 6-10 p.m. Thursday at the Cotton Dock at Boone Hall Plantation. The event will feature food and beverages donated by some of Charleston's finest restaurants as well as live music and a silent auction. Tickets to the event are a minimum donation of $25 and are available by calling Kathy Britzius at 452-6088 or Steve Kish at 224-4482. Donations also are accepted at all area Southcoast Community Bank locations.

"Jamie has done so much for the Charleston community. This is our opportunity to give back to him," says Britzius, director of the Greater Charleston Restaurant Association.

Westendorff's endeavors include feeding people in Marion Square after Hurricane Hugo, cooking for children with cancer at Camp Happy Days and Special Times and for those waiting to give blood after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. He received the 2009 Jefferson Award for Public Service from The Post and Courier and was honored at a national ceremony.