Seen: Fill a Plate for Hunger at Botanic Gardens
Fill a Plate for Hunger had a different vibe this year, and there was a good reason why.
The Salah Foundation had generously offered a dollar-for-dollar match, up to $100,000, and with that in mind, organizers of We Don’t Waste’s signature fundraiser wanted to be sure that the 467 guests would be relaxed and ready to give when it came time for chef/auctioneer Jackson Lamb to begin the special appeal.
So instead of having food stations where a dozen or more restaurants would offer samples of the dishes that made them famous, event chairs Josephine Sinclair and Molly Lazarra — in cooperation with We Don’t Waste founder Arlan Preblud and committee members Catherine Eklund, Christine Loeffler and Page Sepic — engaged Troy Guard to change things up.
Guard put the walkabout supper format on hold and orchestrated a seated dinner at the Denver Botanic Gardens where food from five of the city’s hottest dining spots would be served family-style.
The four-course meal began with albacore conserva from Lola Coastal Mexican and chipotle-grilled chicken breast from SOL Mexican Cantina and went on to include peach salad from Vesta, prime New York strip from Guard and Grace and an assortment of desserts from The Palm.
The concept went over quite well, because when all was said and done, $260,000 had been raised and We Don’t Waste was well on its way to acquiring a much-needed distribution center to better meet the increasing demand for its services.
Since its start in 2009, We Don’t Waste volunteers have collected unused food from venues, caterers, restaurants and distributors, enough to provide 38 million servings of food to shelters, soup kitchens, the working poor and low-income seniors throughout the metro area, and to the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota.
In 2017 alone, We Don’t Waste was able to distribute enough food for 8.5 million meals.
“We are so fortunate to have the support we do,” Preblud said as he and wife Leigh Sinclair, a professor and department chair at Community College of Denver, welcomed Tom Halverson, president/CEO of Presenting Sponsor CoBank; such We Don’t Waste board members as Jeremy Bronson, Jeff Hermanson, Sara Loebl, Elaine Holoboff and Larry DiPasquale; sculptor Gretchen Bunn; and Kyla and Roger Thompson, who had lived next door to Preblud and Sinclair in Denver before moving to Albuquerque several years ago.
Ed Greene, a weather anchor for CBS4 and KOA radio, was master of ceremonies for the event also attended by Charles Jordy and Brian Fun; Marc Roth and Jim Pfister; Don and Terry Cohen; Mary Smith; Jay and Kristina Davidson; Sara Jo Fischer; Joe Schepps; Katherine Dines; Kimberly Jamerson; Andrew Feinstein and Sarah McCarthy; and Hanne Lichtenfels with Dr. Randy Lortscher, Kristian and Blair Lichtenfels and Sarah and Andrew Stetner.