6th Annual Women's Winterfest and Holiday Food Tasting Raises a Record $26,709

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United Way of Lake County’s 6th Annual Women’s Winterfest & Holiday Food Tasting Fundraiser Raises a Record $26,709


December 13, 2017 – Mentor, OH –United Way of Lake County’s (UWLC) Women’s Leadership Council raised a record $26,709 at its 6th Annual Women's Winterfest & Holiday Food Tasting Fundraiser on Thursday, December 7, 2017 from 5:30 pm – 8:30 pm.

The fundraiser raised $7,398 over last year’s event, and more than double the amount raised just two years ago in 2015.

“The popularity of the event continues to grow every year,” said Winterfest event chair Kathleen Buse PhD. of Advancing Women in STEM. According to Buse, “Last year the event sold out in two weeks so we moved venues this year to accommodate the increased demand for tickets. As a result, we were able to welcome nearly 120 additional guests this year at the American-Croatian Lodge in Eastlake.”

The event is about women helping women. Maureen Pross of Lake Health, and chair of the UWLC Women’s Leadership Council said, “Our purpose is to positively impact the lives of women and girls through the philanthropic efforts of giving, advocating and volunteering. The funds raised from this event will be used to support our grant awards program. We believe that addressing the most critical needs of women and girls lifts the community as a whole and creates a better life for us all.”

Over the past three years the UWLC Women’s Leadership Council has awarded a total of over $57,151 in grants to local non-profits for programs which closely align with their mission. The most recent grant awards program took place this past June where 9 grant recipients were awarded funds, including Project Hope for the Homeless, Hope Chest, Girl Scouts, Lake-Geauga Recovery Centers and more.

This year’s Winterfest featured a large Chinese auction, a wine pull, door prizes and food tastings from a large variety of local restaurants. Jeremy Verdi, radio personality from Cougar 93.7, was on-hand as the evening’s DJ.

According to Tami Lewis, United Way of Lake County’s Marketing and Communications Director, the major draw of the evening was the quality and variety of food offered. A total of 16 area restaurants participated in the event, and an additional 2 venues provided food trays. “The food was delicious and there was so much to choose from. We are very appreciative of all the restaurants that came out in support of our community. It’s a real feel good event and they are a big part of this,” said Lewis.

“David Bartulovic, owner of SOL, an American-Spanish fusion restaurant located in downtown Willoughby, was on-hand serving up Mexican street corn along with SOL’s house root vegetable chips and salsa. BJ’s Restaurant & Brew House in Mentor served a mouthwatering deep dish baked ziti. Tavern Six served up heaping portions of two house specialties, mac ‘n cheese and cupcakes. And Fiona’s Coffee Bar & Bakery served guests a large variety of their homemade mini donuts. And that’s not even the half of it,” said Lewis. “All of the restaurants brought their A games and guests were wowed.”

Participating restaurants included:

·         American-Croatian Lodge, Eastlake

·         BJ’s Restaurant & Brew House, Mentor

·         Cakes to You, Mentor

·         Chik-fil-A, Mentor

·         Eat’n Park, Mentor

·         Fiona’s Coffee Bar & Bakery, Downtown Willoughby

·         Lure Bistro, Downtown Willoughby

·         Manhatten Deli, Mentor

·         Pastina Rustic Italian, Mentor

·         Red Hawk Grille, Concord

·         Skye Bistro, Mentor

·         SOL, Downtown Willoughby

·         Square Bistro, Chardon Square

·         Tavern Six, Kirtland

·         The Cabin of Willowick

·         The Morehouse, Downtown Willoughby

·         The Proper Pig Smokehouse, Mentor

·         Yours Truly, Mentor

In addition to the food, there was a large chinese auction. Two of the evening’s most popular raffle items included high-end designer bags made in Cleveland - a Blair Ritchey $498 Lango Messenger bag and a $376 FOUNT Bellfield Tote. Winners also received travel certificates, one-of-a-kind jewelry, perfume, spa services, photography sessions, gift baskets, and more. The winner of the white elephant surprise gift, received a $50 Amazon gift card, a $50 gift certificate to Tony Sacco’s Coal Oven Pizza, a $25 gift certificate to Vittorio’s Buono Appetito, chocolates, a $25 shapewear gift card & private shapewear party from Say Yes to Her Dress in Mentor and more.

Free chair massages and manicures were available compliments of the Brown Aveda Institute in Mentor. And technicians from Vanek Plastic Surgery were also on-hand to provide guests with a complimentary Visia Skin Complexion Analysis.

Event sponsors included The Lubrizol Corporation, Huntington, Vanek Plastic Surgery, Stanley Steemer, Lake Health, FirstEnergy and The News-Herald.

UWLC’s Women’s Leadership Council welcomes new members. For more information, visit www.uwlc.org/wlc , call 440.639.1082 or email community@uwlc.org