United Way of Lake County’s 7th Annual Women’s Winterfest & Holiday Food Tasting Fundraiser Raises Record $27,760
December 12, 2018 – Mentor, OH –United Way of Lake County’s (UWLC) Women’s Leadership Council (WLC) raised a record $27,760 at its 7th Annual Women's Winterfest & Holiday Food Tasting Fundraiser held the evening of Thursday, November 29, 2018 at the American-Croatian Lodge in Eastlake.
The fundraiser raised $1,051 more than last year’s event, which is more than double the amount raised just three years ago in 2015.
“We had a full room of over 330 women attend this year,” said Women’s Leadership Council Winterfest chair Linda Brentar. “The room was buzzing with energy and excitement and it was heartwarming to see everyone come out in support of women and girls in need.”
The purpose of UWLC’s Women’s Leadership Council is to positively impact the lives of women and girls. The concept is based on the recognition of women as a powerful philanthropic force. The WLC is grounded in the idea that addressing the most critical needs of Lake County women and girls lifts the community as a whole and creates a better life for all.
The Winterfest fundraiser is about women helping women. According to Amber Thomas of Crossroads, chair of the UWLC Women’s Leadership Council, “Our purpose begins by helping females of all ages and backgrounds, from young girls through adulthood and into the senior stages of life. We work hard to positively impact the lives of women and girls in our community, and the funds raised from this event are used to support our grant awards program.”
Over the past four years the UWLC Women’s Leadership Council has awarded a total of over $85,000 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 12 grant recipients were awarded funds totaling $28,048. Some of the grant recipients included Hannah’s Home, Hospice of the Western Reserve, Lake County Educational Service Center, Project Hope for the Homeless, Lake County Juvenile Court, and Lake-Geauga Recovery Centers.
This year’s Winterfest featured a large Chinese auction, wine pull, door prizes and food tastings from local restaurants. Jeremy Verdi, radio personality from Cougar 93.7, was on-hand as the evening’s DJ and entertainment was also provided by local vocalist Erin Burke.
According to Tami Lewis, United Way of Lake County’s Marketing and Communications Director, “The major draw of the evening was the food. Guests enjoyed tastings from 19 area restaurants which included everything from Deep Dish Baked Ziti to Pulled Pork Sliders and Beef Tenderloin Garlic Toast to Sushi, Chicken Paprikash Pierogies, Vegan Mac and “Cheese and ” Vegan “Ribs, to Gluten Free Death by Chocolate Cake, made to order S’mores on a stick and a loads more,” said Lewis. “We received a waterfall of compliments by guests wowed by both the quality and quantity of food available to them.”
Participating restaurants included Billy's - A Cappelli Martini Bar, BJ's Restaurant & Brewhouse, BRIM Kitchen + Brewery, CoreLife Eatery, Cakes to You, Dickey's Barbecue Pit, Dubrovnik Garden Restaurant (located inside the American-Croatian Lodge), Eat'n Park, Lure Bistro & Sushi Bar, Manhattan Deli (Mentor), Marion's Mediterranean Restaurant & Tapas Bar, Pastina Rustic Italian, Redhawk Grille, Skye Bistro, SOL, The Cabin of Willowick, The Morehouse, Urban Soul Grille (Vegan) and Yours Truly.
Free chair massages and manicures were available compliments of the Brown Aveda Institute in Mentor, who provided over twenty technicians to pamper guests throughout the evening.
Event sponsors included FirstEnergy, Huntington, Lakeland Community College, The Lubrizol Corporation, The News-Herald and Stanley Steemer.