It’s amazing what industry collaboration can do when working together for a good cause. One of my favorite examples is 13 meetings industry-related organizations joining forces as the Meetings Industry Council of Colorado to coordinate and host the Serving Up Hope Luncheon every November.
The 24th annual event, held Nov. 7 at Denver Mart, attracted more than 700 industry professionals from around the state and raised an impressive $30,000+ for Food Bank of the Rockies’ Denver’s Table program.
Chefs from local hotels and restaurants provided appetizers/salads, entrées and desserts for attendees to enjoy and a team of judges to review. This year’s judges included Chef David L. Beckwith, professor at Metropolitan State University of Denver; Chef Jenna Johanson, innovation chef for Epicurean Group; and Nicolle Montgomery, director of sponsorship and events for the Colorado Restaurant Association.
The judges awarded prizes in the three categories to the best entries among the 18 food stations. Marriott Denver Tech Center received Best Appetizer with a Butternut Squash and Sage Sausage Ball with Maple Gastrique; Renaissance Denver Stapleton Hotel was presented Best Entrée for its Hoisin Glazed Colorado Lamb Shank with Green Tea Bamboo Sticky Rice and Asian Slaw; and Rialto Cafe brought home Best Dessert for a Gluten-Free Salted Caramel Brownie. The People’s Choice award went to Scratch Catering Services for a Honey-Chipotle Glazed Buttermilk Chicken Bite atop a Cinnamon-Buttermilk Belgium Waffle.
All winners received an award tile with artwork designed by Demitra Theard, who is a member of the Food Bank of the Rockies Kids’ Cafe.
Nearly everything is donated for the luncheon, resulting in 100 percent of the proceeds benefitting Food Bank of the Rockies. An additional element is the annual food drive competition between the 13 MIC organizations with more than 12,850 meals donated the day of the event by attendees in addition to the $30,000 raised by the luncheon.
Awards for the most food donated per member were given to two organizations: Christian Meetings & Conventions Association for the organization with less than 125 members and National Speakers Association – Colorado for the organization with more than 125 members.
Congratulations for a job well done!