Imagine being invited to an intimate dinner party, catered by one of the region’s finest chefs, hosted by generous community supporters willing to open their house up to complete strangers all to benefit the local Ronald McDonald House and its services for families of critically ill, hospitalized babies and children. After dinner all guests are united at the big after party for dessert, dancing and auctions at a location that is only revealed to you by your hosts after dinner. Three years ago the Ronald McDonald House launched this unique fundraising model and it’s been embraced by the community with huge success. You can make reservations for this year’s event on Saturday, March 16th online.
Chair of this years Doors of Compassion event, Sally Walters, shared they have 23 host houses signed up this year. Behind the scenes the committee has been working for months lining up the chefs, who agree to volunteer their time to cook the dinner with ingredients that will be provided for them. Each chef will put their unique spin on the ingredients and of course will have to work around any dietary restrictions, including vegetarian selections, for the guests at their assigned house. When you make your reservations for this event ($125/person) you’ll received a confirmation. Closer to the event, you’ll get an email that introduces you to your host home with directions on where to arrive at 6pm for your dinner. If you’d like to dine with another couple, their is an option to do that ($600) or you can even throw a private dinner party for 16 of your own invited guests at a host home ($3500).
I’ve been lucky enough to attend this event and I have to admit, the first year I attended it was a little weird, not knowing where we were going or what we’d be having for dinner. As I was winding my way through the streets of Oakwood, looking for the address of my assigned house, I was a little apprehensive. As I pulled up, seeing a sign in the yard was quite reassuring that I was in the right place. I was thrilled to be welcomed to Camp Ridgeway, the delightfully decorated home of the Froelich’s. In my opinion, this is the coolest part of the event, getting to see some of the coolest houses in town! Our hosts welcomed us with a glass of wine and we met the other guests while enjoying a nibble from the chef. That year Dominque Fortin from C’est Tout was our chef and just watching him cook is as entertaining as any of the Food Network shows. Dinner was steak and shrimp and wonderful, as was the conversation with the other guests at our table. The afterparty that year was at a mansion I’d often driven by, but never been inside. Desserts were displayed on the dining room table, the pool had been covered and turned into a dance floor and Ronald McDonald himself was available for party pics.
Last year we had another great host house, which we got to tour, seeing all the guest rooms, each one decorated with a theme in mind, the indoor pool and an awesome collection of toys from the 70’s, which we all bonded over, tying to decide whether the Welcome Back Cotter collectables or the Charlie’s Angel dolls were more fun. Eventually I think we all decided we were more charmed by the Australian accent of Chef David from CareSource. Last years after party was at Top of the Market and the decadent dessert displays were awesome and we had another great time. I can’t wait to find out where I’ll be dining this year! After Party Twenty Thirteen will feature a decadent dessert & coffee bar and after-dinner libations. Local personality, Kim Faris of Lite 94.5 FM will emcee the evening, while the group “Funky G and The Groove Machine” will entertain the crowd with hit songs and dance party favorites. A Live Auction will also take place offering guests a chance to bid on exciting gift packages. All funds raised from this event benefit the local Ronald McDonald House and its services for families of critically ill, hospitalized babies and children. Hope to see you there!