UnitedWeFeed teams up with Second Harvest for serious family funThe following is another “Have Fun or Get Out of the Way” column by Don Leighton and Mike Granlund and their alter egos, Lance Boyle and Billy Pirkola, which runs occasionally in the Superior Telegram.
By: Don Leighton, Superior Telegram
The following is another “Have Fun or Get Out of the Way” column by Don Leighton and Mike Granlund and their alter egos, Lance Boyle and Billy Pirkola, which runs occasionally in the Superior Telegram.
Through writing, I have had the honor of meeting many great people.
Who can forget ABC’s Extreme Makeover: Home Edition where I met many of the wonderful crew, particularly Paige Hemis, who still calls me every night?
How about All-Pro Green Bay Packer kicker, Chester Marcol, whose daughter Mariah plays for the women’s basketball team at the University of Wisconsin-Superior, coached by Don Mulhern.
There are many more acquaintances and friendships I have made through ifan and the Superior Telegram. I thank both media outlets for letting me “use” them for my pleasure and enjoyment.
I recently made the acquaintance of another all-pro celebrity, Chef Jake Gandolfo. I call him Master Chef, Jake, or friend.
Gandolfo is a man on a mission to help others and his infectious enthusiasm and charisma is realized with his first word or handshake. What this man has accomplished in his personal life is incredible; what he hopes to accomplish while visiting the Twin Ports is even more impressive.
First, a little about the man: He hasn’t wasted time, sitting idly by watching the world go ’round. Born in the hills of New England, Jake has been cooking since he was 5-years-old. With little formal training in the culinary arts, he has developed an uncanny ability to transform cooking into artistic expression with a knife, brush and plate serving as the canvas. While living eclectic life experiences —road racing motorcycles, custom woodworking, heavy construction and working with culinary giants like Gordon Ramsay and Cat Cora — one passion has remained constant, his love for cooking.
Now, a little more about the man: Millions of people around the country recognize Jake Gandolfo as the former construction worker who competed on the world’s most successful cooking show, FOX’s MasterChef, in 2010. Jake was a top-14 finalist of more than 15,000 people who tried out for the first season production. His skill and technique allowed him to further his passion for cooking while allowing others to experience his culinary creations. In addition to his television fame, Jake is the owner and executive chef of Custom Culinary Concepts in Santa Cruz, Calif. Since his appearance on MasterChef, Jake has been giving back to the community locally and abroad through his current culinary adventure, UnitedWeFeed, a cross-country venture to raise money and awareness for underfed folks in America.
Jake and his wife Erin purchased a 32-foot motorhome to traverse the country for those in need.
Gandolfo’s UnitedWeFeed and Second Harvest Northern Lakes Food Bank team up to host the family event of the year. “Feeding our Future … An Ice Cream Social” runs 5-8 p.m. Aug. 2 at Superior Middle School, 3626 Hammond Ave. Proceeds benefit the food bank and hunger relief efforts for children in northwest Wisconsin and northeast Minnesota.
“We want the event to be a fun, family-friendly evening with a great atmosphere for both kids and adults, Gandolfo said. “There will be professional childcare included. We’re planning interactive games and refreshments for the kids in one part of the school, and live music, a silent auction and hors d’oeuvres for adults in another. Then, we will bring everyone together for an ice cream social. It’s like a date night for a couple and a fun night for kids.”
You want to know the best part? The chef provides cooking demonstrations for adults and kids.
The serious and caring sides of Gandolfo are evident when he reveals why he has taken up this crusade.
“My wife Erin and I saw a huge need to bring attention to hunger-related issues in America,” Gandolfo said. “She is a professional nanny and very aware of the impact that undernourishment has on young, developing minds. That begs the question: What picture are we painting for our own future if we are not properly nourishing our future generations? We have seen the effects of hunger all over this great nation of ours and wanted to make a difference, and ‘UnitedWeFeed’ was born.
“There is a huge issue with child hunger in this area. Forty percent of the food coming to Second Harvest Northern Lakes Food Bank shelves goes to children. At the end of the day, we live in the greatest and most prosperous country in the world. It is unacceptable to me that anyone in America should go to bed hungry tonight. Shaye Moris and all the fine folks at Second Harvest rock; teaming up with them to help this beautiful area is an incredible experience,” he said.
Tickets are $25 each or a family 4-pack is $80 in advance or at the door.
In addition to a having a great family night out and helping others by providing $200 to $250 worth of food from Second Harvest for each ticket purchased, you will get an apron, chef’s hat and a scoop for ice cream.
Call (218) 727-5653, ext. 118 or go to www.northernlakesfoodbank.org for ticket information.
If you cannot make it, a donation will go a long way to help young people of our area.
Chef Gandolfo knows the relationship of food, our future and helping those in need.
I am confident the great people of our area do as well.
See you Aug. 2!
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