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Jul 1, 2013


(Tulsa, Okla.) July 2, 2013 – Chef Aid, held June 22 at the Cox Business Center Ballroom, raised over $70,000 in ticket sales, auctions, and corporate and private donations for young victims of Oklahoma’s recent tornados. Over 375 were in attendance of the inaugural fundraiser.

“It was an amazing event, and we’re extremely proud to have those in our industry rally together to raise this amount of money in such a short time for young victims in our state,” said Eli Huff, Executive Chef and Culinary Operations Coordinator at Union Public Schools.

In addition to Huff of Salt Food Group and Union Schools, chefs Devin Levine, SMG Tulsa at Cox Business Center and BOK Center; Kenny Wagoner, Cancer Treatment Centers of America; and Michael Fusco, Fusco’s Catering organized the event with the Tulsa Community Foundation.

“Within three days of the devastation in Moore, Michael, Devin, Kenny and I were meeting to create a plan of action on how we could help,” said Huff. “We considered many options, but decided to keep the event in Tulsa, where we thought we could generate a larger response.”

The event, planned in just a few weeks, featured tastings from 36 local chefs and restaurants, live and silent auctions and smooth jazz sounds from saxophonist Grady Nichols. The event was emceed by Dan Potter, host of ‘OKfoodie’ radio program, and chef Amanda Simcoe, aka The Cheese Wench.

Event organizers along with the Tulsa Community Foundation are working with Dr. Janet Barresi, Oklahoma State Superintendent, who attended the event, to identify students affected in Moore, El Reno and Shawnee by the tornados. Funds will be distributed following.

“It was an honor to partner with Chef Aid and Tulsa Community Foundation to host this event in our Tulsa Ballroom,” said Janet Rockefeller, Assistant General Manager of Cox Business Center. “Our colleagues at SMG Oklahoma City had nine employees who lost everything. The devastation hit home for us, and it was import that we participate to show our support for them and others our state.”

Major sponsors included SMG Tulsa at Cox Business Center and BOK Center, Staples, Salt Food Group, Cancer Treatment Centers of America, and Fincher Designs.

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