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2.21.2010

Stir It 28... The Actual Event Had a Ripple Effect



You know about the ripple effect. You toss a stone into the water and see the endless ripples project out from the center of  where the thrown object landed. That's what Stir It 28 was for me. I will not lie to say I was worried about meeting the expectations of the rest of the group for the Chicago side. From the get go, I had my network of people who were willing to help, and boy did they help. I could have never done it with out them. In between work and Master Chef auditions, February was just tight for time and focus. I was worried about the sales, as I had the least online sales compared to ATL, LA, and NYC. You cant say I didn't promote the hell out of it via twitter and Face book, but the sales were not there. Chicago is huge city and asking for $30 on top of a cash bar with competing Restaurant Week  other fund raising initiatives and other events was hard. But I tried to stay positive and just wanted to get through Sunday. The words of  my mother  "Fret Not and to worry is a sin" stayed with me through out the day. I know fund raising is hard work and I approach it realistic expectations.I am grateful for every little bit I can get. At first I thought the venue would be too small. but in the need it was just right. At the stroke of 2:30 fabulous volunteers took charge and helped me set up  the place. Talk about tons of amazing food! The volunteers came through with some amazing dishes. One could barely make it down the buffet  and their plate was full. It would have taken three to four trips alone to sample all. The cash bar was flowing too. The afternoon was perfect and , while a small crowd, we managed to take in more at the door than online. Chicago foodies had a chance to meet and connect with others. Through their tweets and re tweets they inspired others to donate or attend one of the other cities events.  It was classic Midwest, down to earth , simple, and real.So you see the ripple effect happening here?

 And in the end, after we all cleaned up , the beginning of another heavy snow started. With so much food left,  even after people took their share, we had a few trays left. Homeless shelters in Chicago don't allow you to donate leftovers  food from restaurants ,events, etc. due to health laws.So Certain Someone and I packed the trunk up and drove down to Lower Wacker. Lower Wacker a long running street underground that the many homeless people live on. Its not unusual to see tents and men and women making a home in a dark corner buffeted from the harsh  lakefront winter winds or sweltering summer heat. So Certain Someone and I found a man in his blankets who was eating something in wrapper. We stopped the car and explained we had food leftover from a party. He was happy to get it and the some paper goods so he could share it with others in his community. See the ripple effect at work here. It takes a massive devastating event to remind people to come together and  care for one another. Stir It 28 did that. Haiti will continue to need help even after these next few months. Rebuilding will take years. So whether your efforts are grand or small, everything is and will be appreciated. I cant say Thank You enough.





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14 comments:

Memória said...

I'm so glad the event turned out so well!! That's a lot of good food, too!

Esi said...

Just got home from the LA event. It was so great and you guys are amazing for putting this all together!

Bellini Valli said...

You all did such tremendous work here Courtney!!!! It is not easy as you said to fundraise but every dollar helps tremendously and I am sure it is much appreciated. Congratulations to all you ladies and your tremendous teams!!!!!!!!!

Chou said...

Courtney, I'm so glad that people came through! A big virtual hug from NYC to you, and a bit of love for the love you shared with someone else.

Beth said...

Thanks for letting me be a part of it. I felt like we did something really good today! Looking forward to French Market with you.

Proud Italian Cook said...

You did a fabulous job Courtney, thanks for all your hard work organizing this, and what a great idea you and CS had to give the food to the homeless on Lower Wacker!

The Caked Crusader said...

Well done you!

Tree Huggin Momma said...

Congratulations! If I could have been in Chicago I would have been there. I was hoping to attend the one in DC, but my travel plans were cancelled due to the massive snow the week before (cancelling my girl friend's vacation that she was going to use while we visited). At any rate I am so pleased to here that despite food banks not being able to take the left overs they didn't go to waste. I wish there was a place like that in my area (there probably is, but I don't know about it) that I could take left overs from parties and gatherings to.

Redbonegirl97 said...

Ok, my mouth watered. We really need to figure out the scratch n sniff comuter screen.

Tiffany
http://liferequiresmorechocolate.blogspot.com/

Lori Lynn said...

Kudos to you for organizing such a worthwhile event. I know it must have been a lot of work. Sounds like a big success in many ways.
LL

Bren said...

Hail to Chicago for working it out last minute and at the door! That's what's it's all about!! Woot Woot!

So much food!! Geesh, we left with a lot of food, too! I hope my chefs and bloggers donated to the homeless--I know one did for sure and intend to tomorrow--just been sick in bed! since Sunday night.

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

Congrats...glad the event went well.

Uncouth Gourmands said...

I'm so glad you had a wonderful turnout in Chicago! I had a great time at the LA event. I wanted to show you some highlights from the LA Stir It 28.


http://uncouthgourmands.com/2010/02/22/stir-it-28-a-stirring-success/

The Duo Dishes said...

Happy to hear that Chicago's ripple effect took hold and spread out from our international focus to the homefront. Stir It 28's main fundraiser event was a success in all four cities, and we still have a few more days to raise money. So happy to be working with a great team to make this happen!