St. Ann’s virtual event raises over $200K for residents

St. Ann’s Community held its signature fundraising event, FOOD FIGHT — An Epic Culinary Competition, Oct. 16 at the Genesee Valley Club and on TV and computer screens across the country.

Held virtually for the first time due to the COVID-19 pandemic, St. Ann’s signature event featured four local chefs competing in a 30-minute challenge to create an entrée from mystery ingredients. Chef Taylor Wilde, Sous Chef at Good Luck, took home this year’s trophy by creating a winning dish of curry-rubbed pork chops with apple and spiced couscous.

As things heated up in the kitchen, audience members, including residents of St. Ann’s Community, joined the fun from their homes. Some, like Rachel Bandych, held virtual dinner parties via Zoom as they watched the action.

“I’ve always wanted my sister to attend FOOD FIGHT but she lives in California, so the virtual event allowed her to join us for the first time,” says Bandych, a member of St. Ann’s Foundation board.

Rachel’s sister, Sarah Epstein, calls it the “silver lining” of an otherwise difficult year.

“The virtual nature was part of the fun,” says Epstein. “We decided to dress up as if we were going out but only from the waist up, with pajamas on the bottom.” We’re all waiting for this mayhem to be over so we can all function normally and start going to Hollywood attractions.

The event raised over $213,000 for St. Ann’s Community residents this year. Proceeds from FOOD FIGHT support quality of life initiatives for St. Ann’s elders. St. Ann’s Community thanks their sponsors, volunteers, guests, and all of the local businesses who joined with their corporate support.