Working Better Together

By: Tracy Williams, President TradeWinds Communications

100 Men Who Cook, a non-profit organization that hosts the wildly popular 100 Men Who Cook annual fundraising gala, has big shoulders.

Their signature event is a premier black-tie affair that showcases the culinary talents of local chefs for attendees to sample. Their sponsorship base is broad and proceeds from the event go toward a multitude of youth-serving organizations.

Theirs is a successful venture that has grown in popularity each year. In fact, the organization has broadened its vision to help other like-minded organizations connect with each other, so that they might begin to build successful collaborations as well. In short, 100 Men Who Cook is sharing its bounty.

The organization recently held (on August 11th) a mid-year event designed to do just that.

Not a fundraiser, the organization gathered other non-profits and hosted the 100 Men Who Cook “Connecting Our Community” Harvest Festival in City Park.

Other organizations dedicated to youth empowerment, education, safety etc., were invited to set up resource booths and activities to share their information with members of the community, network and build coalitions with each other.

Meanwhile, members of the community attended and were entertained with live music featuring P.J. the D.J., family-friendly activities, and valuable resource information.

“A lot of people thought this was a mid-year fundraiser for our annual fall gala, but it wasn’t,” said Vice President Norma Paige. “We just wanted the non-profits and sponsors that we work with to have an opportunity to get to meet and get them to collaborate with each other.”

It worked.

More than 300 visitors attended the festival and many organizations took them up on their offer:

They included:

  • Struggle of Love (who gave away over 200 school supply-filled backpacks)
  • The Dahlia Campus for Health and Well-Being’s farmer’s market and People’s Food Pantry
  • Charles and the Let’s Start Dancing Crew, who came ready to teach the crowd the latest in new line dancing trends
  • The People’s Community Food Pantry
  • The Old Skool Car Club

To add to the excitement, a First Responders Cooking Competition was held among the Denver Police Department, the Denver Sheriff’s Department and Denver Paramedics (taking home the first place prize) who competed in a customized version of the Food Network’s “Chopped TV series, complete with seven judges.

“Our chefs were tasked with creating a grilled entrée, two sides and a dessert – one of which had to include our surprise ingredient, pineapple,” said Paige. ‘’They had to deliver the freshest, tastiest dishes to hungry attendees, and they delivered!”

But Paige is quick to credit the success of the event to 100 Men Who Cook’s volunteers and staff.

“They worked long, hard, and in the heat – all in an effort to connect similar organizations and just cover our costs,” she says. “They were phenomenal, dedicated and enthusiastic. We couldn’t have done this without them, especially Samir Paige and Elerie Archer, who wanted to make sure this event is sustainable.”

“They did such a great job that patrons can expect a follow-up event next year,” said 100 Men Who Cook President Charles Moss.

For those who don’t want to wait until next summer to sample the finest in local cuisine, they can look forward to the 100 Men Who Cook’s fall gala, set for Saturday, November 24, 2018 at the Renaissance Denver Hotel. It is a masquerade ball with the signature color of blue this year.

And, as always, come hungry!