It was a night to remember at this year’s Chicago Help Initiative’s annual fundraiser, “CHI Recipes”. The event celebrated the recipes of success for Chicago Help Initiative and featured tasty bite-size portions from local restaurants and chefs. As 250 guests arrived at the beautiful Montgomery Club, ready to support an amazing cause, they were handed a recipe book filled with a brief background on Chicago Help Initiative, followed by short bios on guests and volunteers from CHI that were accompanied with their favorite food item and a recipe that the guests could try at home. The book also featured a recipe from each of the participating restaurants from that night.
Each restaurant sponsored food stations for guests to enjoy popular bite size menu items that their chefs prepared for the evening. These included, raw oysters from Benny’s Chophouse, Surf and Turf Canape from Gibsons Steakhouse, Handmade Pasta from Volare, Mini Crab Cakes from Hugo’s Frog Bar, Prime Angus Cheeseburger Sliders from Lux Bar, Artisanal Cheese and Charcuterie display from Quartinos, and Flank Steak with Horse Radish Mashed Potatoes topped with Chimichurri Sauce from Texas De Brazil. There were also plenty of desserts to choose from including, Gummy Kabobs from Candyality, Cheesecake bites, Fudge Brownies, Pecan Bars and Seven Layer Bars from Eli’s Cheesecake and assorted cakes and desserts from The Montgomery Club. Guests also enjoyed donated beverages provided by Heaven Hill Distilleries and MillerCoors.
Not only was the delicious food spread a hit, but the guests got to enjoy the wonderful talent of keyboardist and singer, John Jones playing top hits that got the crowd lively and ready for the evenings presentation to begin. Doug Fraser, the executive director of CHI, welcomed the crowd and thanked all the sponsors before handing it off to Chris Stathopoulos, president of CHI, who thanked everyone for their support and honored Howard Conant with the Jacqueline C. Hayes Helping Hand Award. Then the evening’s auctioneer, Marion Valle, auctioned off a Chicago Staycation in the live auction which raised $1,400. Feeding off of the excitement from the live auction, Marion Valle and Alison Jannotta, Vice President of CHI, asked everyone to turn their attention to the A/V screens for a special video presentation before helping in the fund-in-need, which raised over $20,000 in just a few minutes!
The night was complete with more live music from John Jones and many chances for guests to show their support in the silent auction which had over 40 items including Elite Island Resorts trips to St. Lucia, Antigua and Panama Other packages included restaurant gift certificates, custom suits, and luxury designer goods such as a Salvatore Ferragamo handbag!! Overall the silent auction raised about $10,000 with the entire fundraiser raising over $90,000! It was a huge success with record breaking numbers and could not have happened without the support from the community.
The Chicago Help Initiative is a consortium of business, residential, religious, social service, institutional and volunteer leaders striving to promote an atmosphere of dignity and compassion toward those in need by providing access to food, health services, shelter and employment. For more information, please visit www.chicagohelpinitiative.org