enCourage Kids Hosts Annual Star-Studded Fundraiser Serving Up Smiles
The enCourage Kids Foundation hosted their Serving Up Smiles premier tasting event on October 22nd with over 300 plus guests supporting the cause at CURRENT in Chelsea Piers. Top chefs from incredible NYC restaurants along with world-class wines, cocktails and music by Live Wire Entertainment made the event one for the books.
Since its inception in 1985, enCourage Kids Foundation has helped humanize healthcare for children and their families by resourcing impact-driven pediatric programs and supporting the Child Life Community. The organization has served more than one million children annually and focuses on making hospitals an easier place for children to get better with programs that offer relief from the constant burden of treatment, hospital stays, and doctor appointments, while also helping pediatric facilities to meet the unique needs of their patients.
Michele Hall Duncan, President & CEO enCourage Kids Foundation, has deep knowledge of the nonprofit and development world and leads the organization in developing varied Programs and overseeing the growth of the Pediatric Hospital Support Program. She shared “This is a special night and the type of event I would want to attend as a guest. You meet and mingle while learning about one of the best organizations in the world (enCourage Kids Foundation) and get to eat the best food. It’s about helping kids and their families. Family care is crucial because when the entire family is involved, it helps children recover more quickly.”
An example of the impact that enCourage Kids Foundation has had here in New York City is at Mount Sinai. Diane Rode, Director of Child Life and Creative Arts Therapy Dept at the medical center shared that hospitalization is traumatic for children of all ages and in order to ease the suffering they use play and creative arts, including a state-of-the-art Broadcast Studio that hosts celebrities and cooking segments among other programming. With the studio, children in isolation get the chance to freely and safely interact with others. This studio has been funded for 14 years by enCourage Kids Foundation and for 20 years the foundation has been the hospital’s largest donor. They raise money through this event, and it pipelines straight into these childhood departments.
Supported at this event was also Camp Pontiac, a weekend in Copake, New York where enCourage Kids can get away to do arts and crafts, swimming, sports, games and most importantly be normal kids. There is no uneasiness that families often have in public with their children and the they can all breathe a bit easier in the fresh air.
Money is raised by guests passionate about the cause and excited to eat delicious cuisine. Participating restaurants and chefs included BAGATELLE (Guillaume Ginther, Executive Chef), BEAUTY & ESSEX (Jamie Sudberg, Executive Pastry Chef), BEN & JACK’S STEAKHOUSE (Admir Alibasic, Executive Chef), BRYANT PARK GRILL (Anne-Marie Noonan, Pastry Chef), BUTTER (Michael Jenkins, Chef de Cuisine), DANNY MACAROONS (Dan Cohen, Baker), HOTEL CHOCOLAT, LAMIA’S FISH MARKET (Lamia Funti, Executive Chef & Owner), LEGASEA (Jason Hall, Executive Chef), OCEAN PRIME (Eugenio Reyes, Executive Chef), OSTERIA MORINI (Andrew Minitelli, Chef de Cuisine), ROBERT (Gonzalo Colin, Executive Chef) SERENDIPITY 3, SFOGLIA (Melisa Panchano, Executive Chef) and TAO GROUP (Ralph Scamardella, Chef & Partner).
The Purple Carpet was packed with celebrity chefs, athletes such as John Starks (Former NY Knicks All-Star), Brent QVale (NY Jets Offensive Tackle), Tony Richardson (NFL Legend & Sports Commentator), Luke Petitgout (Former NY Giants Offensive Tackle) and actors Frankie Smith (Roots/Black & Blue), Suzzanne Douglas (Actress) and DeeMo (Actor/Singer/Songwriter), to name a few. Scott Stanford (Sports/News Anchor) was the emcee for the evening joined by culinary chair Ralph Scamardella, Chef & Partner TAO Group.
It's never too late to make a donation and support the enCourage Kids Foundation.