When I got home from three whirlwind days in New York City for the Social Good Summit, I was exhausted. All I wanted to do was take a nap and recover.
Alas, the nap was not meant to be. My clients needed me, and I had made a volunteer commitment with Spectrum Generations. Spectrum’s Director of Development, Diane Woodworth, had asked me to be a celebrity volunteer server for the Meals on Wheels Celebrity Challenge.
Chefs Ray Franklyn of Solo Bistro in Bath, Wendy Larson of Slates Restaurant & Bakery in Hallowell, Tim O’Brien of Trattoria Athena in Brunswick, and Andrew Omo of Linda Bean’s Pefect Maine in Freeport created amazing main dishes using Meals on Wheels guidelines and ingredients. I, along with other local “celebrities,” volunteered to deliver meals to tables while celebrity judges sampled and scored each dish to declare a champion.
I laughed when I initially heard the term celebrity, but I went with it. As tired as I was, I rode my social good high over to the Maine Maritime Museum on September 25th for a great event to benefit Meals on Wheels and We Sustain Maine.
I wore an apron and served tables. Clearly I was out of my element.
Despite my complete lack of experience in the food service world, I managed to serve my meals without incident. The hardest part of the night was waiting for the chefs to have their food ready. I wanted to serve my tables with hot food in an efficient manner and the four chefs did not have their dishes ready at the same time. (Suddenly I understood Chef Gordon Ramsay’s kitchen tirades.)
The food was fabulous, even if my table was last to be served. Chef Tim O’Brien of Trattoria Athena was awarded the Judges’ Choice while Wendy Larson of Slates was awarded People’s Choice.
Diane tells me nearly $14,000 was raised that evening. To put that number in perspective, this money, along with other philanthropic activities, has effectively reduced the Meals on Wheels waiting list (established after the sequester in March) to zero. This means that anyone in central Maine who qualifies for the Meals on Wheels program will receive this important service.
At an estimated cost of $5.60/meal, the event will fund nearly 2,500 meals to homebound older/disabled adults. Because we prepare our own meals, we’re continuing to provide Maine food products in the Meals on Wheels program, which is also helping local farmers as well as the Maine economy. ~ Diane Woodworth, Spectrum Generations
Diane also tells me that they are back on their two deliveries per week schedule (also reduced with the sequester), allowing volunteers an extra weekly check on their older adult clients who are often homebound or disabled.
I was honored to be a part of the evening and look forward to next year’s event.
Have you done any volunteer work recently?
I share this volunteer story as part of the BlogCause community.