October 12, 2011 Edition

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Idea offers chance to
cook up a fund-raiser

Vivian Heyl
Staff Writer

Cooking is somewhat of a passion of mine. I consider myself to be an innovative cook who is not afraid to wing it. Yet I also have shelves of cookbooks, get dozens of e-mails each week loaded with new ideas and am a member of several online groups that share cooking tips and recipes.

When a press release for Cooking for a Cause crossed my desk I was intrigued. The concept is to gather several cooks for an afternoon of fun cooking together. Each participant prepares a signature dish for a meal, which is then served to a group of people who enjoy excellent food and are prepared to pay for it.

The true purpose is to raise funds for an important cause. In this particular instance the cause was cancer research, but the idea works for any cause in my opinion.

A great pre-dinner party possibility is to have a brainstorming potluck get-together. Each person would bring a dish to share as a possibility for the future dinner. The group would then decide on a menu.

Church fellowship halls, community centers or other large open rooms could serve as a site for the dinner. For smaller groups a home with space for a few small tables could work equally well.

The group might also enjoy a prefund-raiser trial run on a smaller scale and gather to cook the meal and enjoy it together.

The possibilities are limited only by the group's creativity. Menus can be as varied as the cooks have the ability to make them.

If a full-scale dinner menu seems to be an undoable feat, an appetizers and drinks menu or coffee and dessert evening might be the answer.

No matter what type of menu is decided upon, what could be more fun than gathering a group of friends together to create an unforgettable meal that will not only delight the diners but will benefit someone in need.

Baking for a cause

A group effort bake sale is another great idea for a Cooking for a Cause project. Those who love to bake can gather for an evening or afternoon and create lots of baked goodies to sell to raise money for a good cause (cancer patients, medical research, health screenings, etc.).

This is a great idea for a church group, club or neighborhood to raise funds for someone in the community who is in need.

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