PORTSMOUTH — The response to The Counseling Center’s (TCC) Eighth Annual Celebrity Chef Dinner was spectacular, with record-breaking preliminary numbers around $35,000 raised. The Friends Center overflowed Tuesday with hundreds who came out to show their support and enjoy the festivities.
There was never a dull moment at the Eighth Annual ‘Celebrity Dinner Cowboy Cuisine at the TCC Corral.’
Master of Ceremonies was Steve Hayes, who brought energy and excitement to the evening. Doors opened with a Silent Auction composed of a host of items from Riverboat excursion, to Ohio State football game tickets and so much more.
Andy Albrecht, TCC CEO, said the Celebrity Chef Dinners have continued to experience an incredible amount of growth since the event’s inception.
“It was sold out. We were talking before the event, how in the first year that we did this many years ago, we had about 80 people to come. So, it has been very humbling to see the growth and community support,” Albrecht said. “I think we had 43o tickets sold this year, which was a sell-out, and we are very proud of that and all of the community support.”
All of the funds raised from the Celebrity Chef Dinner are for the benefit of the TCC Summer Outreach Club Program, according to Albrecht.
“All of the proceeds are allocated towards our Summer Outreach and Prevention Program. it is the longest running Prevention Program in the State of Ohio,” Albrecht said. “This is going to be our 27th year, so we are very proud of that. I just want to thank all of the staff, the volunteers, all of the Celebrity Chefs. It takes a lot of people to pull this off. Gina Collinsworth our director of community relations really does a nice job.”
Guests had the opportunity to indulge in delicious appetizers, followed a tantalizing dinner. Music was provided by the Poverty String Band. In-Crowd festivities included entertainment by Mark Wood, re-enactors from Dogwood Pass,
The fun continued with a best-dressed Cowboy and Cowgirl awards, with Dr. Mike Raies as MC, who gave out the awards. The award winners were two youth, Judah Malone, and Dontavion Parker.
Perhaps one of the most heart-warming part of the Celebrity Chef Dinner was the special video broadcast of the Summer Outreach Club News.
Guests had the opportunity to view footage of the Program in action, and to hear how the their support of the Dinner events make the Summer Outreach Program possible.
Clarence Parker, Director of the TCC Summer Outreach Program, said this year’s event was delightful and entertaining.
“This is just outstanding. All of the work that goes into this, and just to see the community come out and support it is just a real delight,” Parker said. “People really enjoy themselves, we raise a lot of money, and people have a lot of fun. Folks like Will Robinson, and Nick Montovan, have done the cooking for the last two years, and all of the Celebrity Chefs did a fantastic job. I just really appreciate all of the support from the community. All of the folks that are in treatment that are here helping, they don’t have to do that but they do it to give back to the community is deeply appreciated.”
He said the annual Celebrity Chef Dinner brings the community together.
“I am just impressed with how it brings all of the community together for a common cause of helping the kids is just incredible,” Parker said.
Director of Community Relations and Development at TCC, Gina Collinsworth said the Celebrity Chef Dinner
“Our final number which is preliminary, because we haven’t tallied up all of our expenses but the preliminary growth amount was $35,301,” Collinsworth said. “The night was a great celebration of our community spirit. When we all work together to help others, and to improve the lives of our kids in the community, we’re building a better future for everybody.”
Reach Portia Williams at 740-353-3101, ext. 1929, or on Twitter @PortiaWillPDT.