Nearly $9,000 was collected at the dinner, which was donated to the Clearwater Community Volunteers (CCV) for this year’s Winter Wonderland and other events that raise money for children’s charities.
In introducing CCV, Mistress of Ceremonies Lisa Mansell quoted from the Way to Happiness by Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard:
“Today’s children will become tomorrow’s civilization. Bringing a child into the world today is a little bit like dropping one into a tiger’s cage. Children can’t handle their environment and they have no real resources. They need love and help to make it.”
Then came the centerpiece of the event, dinner. Following the theme of “Colonial America – Modernized” each chef created a culinary masterpiece.
After Fort Harrison Chefs’ Ben and Zoltan respectively took on the bread course (six kinds of bread, four kinds of butter) and appetizer (smoke salmon roll with corn pancakes topped with caviar), the rest of the courses emerged from the kitchen in rapid order.
Pheasant Consommé by Chef Sean Ragan of the Four-Diamond rated Carretta’s on the Gulf at the Sandpearl Beach Resort on Clearwater Beach;
Venison Tenderloin served with a Rosemary Potato Croquette, a re-vamped succotash and a Molasses-glazed Trumpet Mushroom by Chef Andrew Coniglio – Executive Chef of the Innisbrook Golf Resort and Chef Brian Vroman – Executive Chef of Craft Street Food and Spirits;
A Roasted Asparagus Terrine in a Truffle Vinaigrette, created by Chef Viet Vo of the Art Institute of Tampa;
Dessert which consisted of a Colonial Tasting: Apple Tarte Tatin, Chocolate Pecan Pie and Pumpkin-Molasses Gelato created by William Dean’s Founder Chef Bill Brown and Chef Tim Brown;
And ending with a Cheese Course created by Chef Asbel Reyes, Territory Manager for Gourmet Foods International, Tampa.
While guests dined, they enjoyed music from a string trio, who gave the ballroom a more magical air.
Other sponsors included Gourmet Foods International and Sysco, who wanted to contribute to the cause.
Since 1996, CCV has raised over $150,000 for charities such as Nourish to Flourish, Shriners Hospitals for Children, Boys and Girls Club of the Suncoast, the Make-a-Wish Foundation and the Children’s Home. These volunteers also produce the annual Winter Wonderland in December and the Coachman Park Easter Egg Hunt every spring.
For more information about the Clearwater Community Volunteers, please go to www.clearwatercommunityvolunteers.org.