Hubby and I attended the Carpenter's Cook-off Sunday at the Birchmere. This was a benefit for Carpenter's Shelter, which just celebrated 20 years of serving homeless and formerly homeless children, families and adults in Alexandria. I believe the statistic I heard at the event was that 90% of the people they help transition out of homelessness. That's pretty amazing!
I gotta tell ya, even if it hadn't been such a good cause--which it certainly was!--it was a great event to attend and I heartily recommend it for the fun and food factors alone. They had about two dozen great restaurants (Jackson 20--who won the cook-off with their incredible shrimp in remoulade, Asian Bistro, The Warehouse, Southside 815, Stardust, Restaurant Eve, Landini Brothers, Del Merei Grill, Rustico/Buzz, Hollin Hall Pastry Shop--indescribably good desserts! and so many more!) serving up samples of their food! Yum!! Of course, we had to re-sample the offerings of a number of contenders to be sure we were voting fairly. ;)
They had the Melonheads playing great tunes (Joe Walsh, Chuck Berry, Ike & Tina Turner, etc.), to which the adults and the kids rocked out. All this included in the cover price of $40, $30 of which went right to the shelter.
And then there was the auction. And you know what? We bid on the Helen Thomas dinner.
It was dinner for four with Helen so I figured we could invite somebody else who'd know what to say (perhaps j.m. tewkesbury or hughes ap williams). But the bidding very quickly eclipsed us and some lucky person got this sweet deal for $850.
We got eclipsed on lots of other wonderful items including a two night stay at any Ritz Carlton; a Kennedy Center 4th of July package; private cocktail instruction and sampling for 6 guests at PX; a Morrison House stay, dinner and gift basket and much more. They even had a Shakespeare package and a Nascar package on auction, though not in the same package. :)
I'm pleased that they were able to raise so much money for the shelter, even if it meant we didn't walk away with any of the really cool items.
Birchmere hosts this every year. I recommend you line up tickets early for next year!
PS Kudos to Congressman Jim Moran for making an appearance and supporting the Shelter!