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Cuisine for a Cause Helps Neighbors Help Neighbors



9th Annual Cuisine for a Cause benefits Naperville CARES

The 9th Annual Cuisine for a Cause on April 21 presented a time for Mayor George Pradel and Barbara Dinon to reminisce about the first event when it was held in the Naperville Municipal Center. Back then, talk radio host Steve Cochran and Heaven on Seven owner-Chef Jimmy Bannos attracted folks to the event that featured samples from many of the city’s favorite restaurants. Dinon also recalled several years ago when her photo was featured in PN’s Naperville Nostalgia in the April issue to remind folks about the spring event for a good cause, Naperville CARES.

Dinon was among the founders of Naperville CARES.  Incorporated in 1999, the mostly-volunteer nonprofit organization provides resources to people within the Naperville community who need assistance to avoid homelessness and attain self-sufficiency. When resources from other agencies and organizations are not immediately available, CARES provides emergency financial assistance for rent, security deposits, utilities, child care and other essentials.  Their car program collects donated cars and tries to make the necessary repairs to make the vehicles roadworthy, usually with the help of local car dealerships.  The cars are then made available to residents who need transportation.

Today, Janet Derrick serves as the first Executive Director of Naperville CARES, a position she began on January 1, 2009. During the evening, Derrick greeted restaurant owners situated throughout the atrium with much appreciation for participating.  She also could be heard thanking sponsors and volunteers as well as enlightening attendees about the mission of Naperville CARES as they filled the banquet room, eager to participate in the live auction.

This year, the event again was held at Tellabs Global Headquarters where more than two dozen restaurateurs as well as local wine and beer merchants, showcased their signature dishes for folks who paid $90 each to enjoy samples of  food and beverages from area wine and beer merchants in a fun-filled friendly atmosphere.  In 2011, the benefit raised $124,000. 

On May 3, the final numbers became available for 2012 with good news that this year presented the most successful event to date, raising $135,000 to benefit needy families in Naperville.

All the proceeds from Cuisine for a Cause go directly to Naperville CARES, a volunteer-driven organization that assists local families in financial crisis meet their basic needs by providing emergency financial support and resources.  

 Thanks to the 450 guests, as well as the sponsors and donation of food and beverages by area restaurants and merchants, Naperville CARES executive director Janet Derrick was happy to report that the funds raised exceeded CARES’ expectations and will enable the organization to expand their current Car Program and accomplish their goals in giving back to the community.

Earlier, this news site had reported that raffle sales for the iPad were high and Jimmy Bergeron of Jimmy’s Grille was the winner of the electronic tablet intended to be used for web browsing, e-mail, photos, video, music, games and e-books.

Thanks to the generosity of Tellabs, Invesco, My Chef Catering, the City of Naperville and all the other sponsors and donations from restaurants, 100 percent of ticket and auction sales have been used for  program expenses since the inception of the event.

Sponsored this year by My Chef Catering, Invesco, Coldwell Banker Residential Brokers Charitable Foundation, the food festival at Tellabs is one of two major fundraisers for  Naperville CARES.  Toasting for A Cause is held in the fall at Sullivan’s Steak House.

For more info or to become a member of a long list of CAREgivers,  call  (630) 369-0200 or  www.napervillecares.org.

PHOTOS! These photos are a random sampling of Cuisine for a Cause 2012, set in the atrium of Tellabs.

The fifth photo is Mayor George Pradel with Naperville CARES founder Barbara Dinon and Executive Director Janet Derrick.

From first-time attendees to seasoned supporters, the event attracted folks to learn more about Naperville CARES while contributing to the success of the  nonprofit organization via raffles, a silent auction and a live auction with 10 items.

Editor’s Note: Many events in Naperville throughout the year would not be possible without the generosity of the local hospitality community.  Restaurateurs host wine tastings and special events at their restaurants or participate in off-site events such as Cuisine for a Cause, Ribfest, Last Fling, Soup’s On, A Taste of Hope—the list goes on and on.

Naperville CARES thanks Angeli’s, Arbor Vitae Cafe, Blackfinn, Care Buonaro’s, Catch 35, Flat Top Stir Fry Grill, Front Street Cantina, Heaven on Seven, House of Emperor, Indian Harvest, Jimmy’s Grill, Kiku, Le Chocolat, My Chef Catering, Meson Sabika, Maggiano’s, Quigley’s Irish Pub, Raffi’s, Shinto, Sullivan’s, Tasso’s, Ted’s Montana Grill, The Melting Pot, Walker’s Charhouse for contributing samples of their signature dishes.

The 10th Annual Cuisine for a Cause is slated for Sat., April 27, 2013.

Thanks for supporting local restaurants when dining out is your choice. To learn more about more than 260 Naperville restaurants, visit www.positivelynaperville.com/food-drink-wine

P.S. Click on any photo to enlarge. Then use the arrow to navigate through the gallery.


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PN Editor
PN Editor
An editor is someone who prepares content for publishing. It entered English, the American Language, via French. Its modern sense for newspapers has been around since about 1800.


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