Junior League plans Kentucky Derby bash.
COLUMN: TABLE HOPPIN'
The Junior League of Worcester's Kentucky Derby Fundraiser is the hottest ticket in town.
The Derby party, open to the public, will be held from 4:30 to 8 p.m. May 5 at Union Station in Worcester.
The event includes live Derby viewing, southern-style appetizers and desserts, live music, silent auction and red carpet photos. A raffle for $1,000 in scratch tickets, a Best Tie Contest (men) and a Best Hat Contest (women) will be featured.
The mint juleps will be flowing!
Cost: $50 per person in advance; $65, at the door. Cash bar. Look for free valet at the front entrance of Union Station. Visit www.jlwma.org to purchase tickets and for more info.
Note: You don't have to wear a Kentucky Derby hat to attend the party. It's your call.
The fundraiser will benefit the JLW projects within the Worcester community, according to Kate Halpin, JLW president. The league's signature project is Food 4 Thought, a program that provides workshops on issues facing middle school girls. Workshops focus on self-esteem, study and social skills, personal safety, financial literacy and stress management, she said.
Members of the JLW also are actively involved in community service projects such as Coats for Kids, partnered with the Worcester Public Schools. The project helps provide winter coats for children. Last year, more than 1,400 children received new coats, hats and mittens.
In collaboration with Worcester area organizations and agencies, the JLW participates in Done-in-a-Day projects that benefit from volunteer efforts and funding. Members provide meals to the homeless, walk or bike for charity fundraisers, harvest food for local food banks and much more.
Kids in the Kitchen is a project supported by The Association of Junior Leagues International Inc., and its member leagues. The goal is to empower youth to make healthy lifestyle choices and help reverse the growth of childhood obesity and its associated health issues.
The JLW also supports the community through scholarships and grants to organizations with an immediate need.
The mission of the JLW is "to promote voluntarism, develop the potential of women and help to improve the Worcester community through effective action and leadership of trained volunteers." Visit the league's website to learn more about the organization.
Enjoy the party, and good luck in picking a Derby winner!
Camille and Sang Chhoeuk, owners of The Wine Vine, 142 Highland St., Worcester, are celebrating six years in business.
The couple will host a celebration party, "The Art of Supporting Local," from 5 to 8 p.m. April 27 at the store.
Businesses will provide tastings of locally produced products.
Among participants will be Berkshire Brewing Company in South Deerfield and Still River Winery in Harvard. Andes Imports Inc. in North Billerica will showcase wines; Hickory Nut Farm in Lee, N.H., cave-aged goat cheeses.
Other specialties include artisan breads, Taza chocolate and organic and fair trade coffee. There also will be gift basket raffles, prizes and live music.
In collaboration with Prints and Potter Gallery and the Futon Company, both in Worcester, several local artists will give art demos.
Artist Susan Champeny will set up totems outside, in front of The Wine Vine. Guests will be invited to help build some of the totems.
The event offers a great opportunity to taste some new products and chat with business owners.
The Culinary Arts Program at Tantasqua Regional Senior High School in Fiskdale will hold its annual Team Chef Competition from 1 to 5 p.m. April 29 in the Sturbridge Host Hotel and Conference Center in Sturbridge.
The public event will benefit the Culinary Arts Scholarship Program at Tantasqua.
Cost is $10 per person, $5 for children 5 to 10 years of age.
Local chefs will pair with two culinary students in preparing a signature entree and dessert using the featured ingredient, citrus.
Guests will be able to try all the dishes and vote their favorite.
Participants include Rovezzi's Ristorante, The Publick House Historic Inn, BT's Smokehouse and Sturbridge Host Hotel and Conference Center, all in Sturbridge; Vienna Restaurant and Historic Inn in Southbridge and Ceres Bistro at the Beechwood Hotel in Worcester.
Don't miss out!
Stop & Shop stores in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode and Connecticut will hold a special fundraising day April 28 to benefit pediatric brain tumor research.
Stop & Shop's Triple Winner program supports the fight against pediatric cancer, including the Stop & Shop Family Pediatric Brain Tumor Clinic at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.
Stop & Shop customers who make a $1 contribution on April 28 will receive a free single-serve ice cream cup. When customers make a $3 contribution, they will also receive a limited edition Triple Winner keepsake.
Stop & Shop New England Division will donate 100 percent of the proceeds to the clinic at Dana-Farber. In addition, Edy's ice cream brand will donate $0.5 for every single serve cup, shake or smoothie sold between April 13 and June 7, with no limitation on the amount donated during this timeframe.
Since 2006, Nestle Dreyer's Ice Cream Company has partnered with Stop & Shop to raise money for the children's cancer research. Last year, $186,000 was raised, according to Roger Weisbeck, spokesman for Nestle Dreyer's Ice Cream Company.
Visit www.stopandshop.com to learn more about the Stop & Shop's Triple Winner program.
A Spanish Wine Dinner is planned May 2 at Arturo's Ristorante, 54 E. Main St., Westboro.
The five-course meal will begin at 6:30 p.m. in the Amici Room of the restaurant. Cost: $55 per person, not including tax and gratuity. Call (508) 366-1881 to reserve. Julio's Liquors in Westboro will do the wine pairings.
On the menu: Andalusian gazpacho, salmon ceviche salad over mixed greens topped with fresh strawberries; seafood paella, Spanish crusted pork loin and crema Catalana.
If you are familiar with the Worcester dining scene you probably already know that Ding-Ho Dynasty, 38 Southbridge St., Worcester, is closed.
John Ng reportedly started the business in 1965.
The restaurant survived through the years despite fires, financial problems, etc.
Writing this item, I wondered when Dynasty was added to the name of the restaurant that most people always knew as the Ding-Ho.
Moving on, who or what will take over Ding-Ho's space?
An April Wine Tasting is scheduled from 4 to 7 p.m. April 28 at Vinny C's Boylston Liquors, 63 Shrewsbury St., Boylston. Visit www.vinnycs.com for more information.
Share Our Strength's Taste of the Nation Worcester County held April 23 in The Manor in West Boylston, was a huge success.
The food was fantastic, and the chefs, restaurateurs, caterers and businesses did a fantastic job.
Ryan Maloney, who owns Julio's Liquors in Westboro, introduced fabulous new wines, and he also donated the wine glasses for the event.
Polar Beverages in Worcester, a participant, donated the buffet plates with wineglass holders.
Consolidated Beverages and Atlas Distributing Inc., both in Auburn, presented a variety of beers, etc.
The Worcester County Food Bank in Shrewsbury and Rachel's Table in Worcester benefit from the local event, which is one of the reasons why Taste attracts so many people.
Share Our Strength's Taste of the Nation is dedicated to a campaign, No Kid Hungry, to end childhood hunger in America by 2015.
Audrey Kurlan-Marcy of Shrewsbury, event coordinator, said the local Taste will celebrate its 25th anniversary next year.
Note: It's not too early for restaurants and food businesses to think about the anniversary bash. If you have never participated, plan to join the fun. It definitely will be a party to remember. This event not only is about food, but also the many businesses and volunteers who generously give their time and energy to help make Taste a success.
We all look forward to next year's anniversary event.
If you have a tidbit for this column, call (508) 868-5282. Send email to email@example.com.
CUTLINE: (1) Helping to planning the Kentucky Derby Fundraiser at Union Station are, from left, Shannon L. Pluta of Worcester, fundraiser co-chairman; Kate Halpin of West Boylston, president; Luanne Remillard of Harvard, co-chairman; and McHala W. Brophy of Worcester, president-elect. (2) Brian Treitman, left rear, owner and chef of BT's Smokehouse, and Michael Heenan, right rear, executive chef at the Publick House, are pictured with Tantasqua students, from left, Calvert Toth, Shanon McKeon, Tyler Moccio, Joe Wolvin, Zachary Robertson, Tom Bouteillier, Katie Daly, Brittany Boudreau and Kyle Libfiszewski.
PHOTOG: (1) T&G Staff/BETTY JENEWIN (2) T&G Staff/JIM COLLINS