Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Roving Pittsburgh Report, Cocktails and Cuisine, A Magical Night in an Idyllic Setting

Roving Pittsburgh Report,  Cocktails and Cuisine, 

A Magical Night in an Idyllic Setting


Kelli Robbins, President Contact One

“The judge said: ‘Lady, just because he hurt you, doesn’t mean he’ll hurt his own kids.’ But then, he murdered my little babies.”

These words hung quietly in the warm spring air over the hundreds of people gathered for “Cocktails and Cuisine”, the popular annual fundraiser for Crisis Center North, which was held on May 15th from 6-pm at The Woodlands of Bradford Woods.  Crisis Center North is a nonprofit domestic violence counseling and educational resource center, which has served the community since 1978. Their mission is to empower victims of domestic violence and cultivate community attitudes and behaviors that break the cycle of violence. All monies raised from this event goes toward providing victims of domestic violence the advocacy and support needed to chart a path toward safety and self-sufficiency.

The 8th CCN “Cocktails and Cuisine” is an exceptional grazing and sipping event with fabulous food from top restaurants, including local favorites such as Bella Frutteto, Wood Fired Flatbreads, John Marshall Catering, Aladdin’s Eatery, The Tuscan Inn, Willow and The Walnut Grill. Participants compete for the Best Overall Taste Treat; and the coveted title of People’s Choice Award for Overall Favorite. This year’s Celebrity Foodie Judges included Christina French, publisher of Table Magazine; Amanda Smith, Talent Competition Winner in the Miss America Pageant 2015;  and Doug Oster, Pittsburgh Post Gazette’s Backyard Gardner and co-host of KDKA Radio’s The Organic Gardners.

Libations were plentiful and provided by the generosity of sponsors
First Commonwealth Bank; Bird Dog Whiskey; Fuhrer Wholesale; Soergel Orchards; Achieve Realty, D’Andrea Wine & Liquor Imports; State Farm Insurance and Turo Family Chiropractic.

The evening’s festivities under the tents included live music from one of Pittsburgh’s favorite jazz singers, Antoinette. Jon Burnett, broadcaster at KDKA TV, served as Master of Ceremonies for The Northern Star Awards Presentation. Every year, Crisis Center North recognizes the contributions of key individuals and community groups who support and further the mission of CCN.  This year’s honorees included Individual Honoree Lisa Wagner, for her fundraising and community awareness efforts;  Community Award Honoree UPMC Health Plan for their community support and advocacy programs; System Honoree Shaler Township Police Department, for their multiple large-scale projects for education and prevention initiatives, as well as betterment of the criminal justice system; and Lifetime Achievement Honoree Anna Belle-Few, who has provided vision and leadership to CCN for 37 years.

The live auction, hosted by the renowned husband and wife emcee duo, Paul and Beth Kelly of Orlando Florida, included such crowd pleasers as an all expenses paid trip to the Castles of Ireland. Guests also enjoyed an eclectic array of upscale items in the silent auction including jewelry, spa baskets, jewelry, sports collectibles, a barrell of booze, theater tickets and weekend get-away packages.

This much anticipated fundraising event draws celebrated chefs from local caterers and fine dining restaurants throughout the region to compete for
“Best Overall Taste Treat” and “”Overall Favorite”.

Silent Auction Guests were treated to a wide array of goodies, including spa packages, jewelry, sports collectibles, a barrell of booze, theater tickets and get-away packages.

Wine hosts, John McClay and Scott Vidovich of First Commonwealth Bank, and guests Kelli Robbins of Contact One Communications and Roxanne Buckels of the Republican Committee of Allegheny County enjoy a Chardonnay under the stars.
The early spring Pittsburgh weather could not have cooperated more for the evening’s festivities!
A Magical Night!
An idyllic setting!

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