The Carney Group Participates in Fundraiser

The Reporter: Cooking for a cause

Friday, March 26, 2010 By: David Hare

WHITPAIN — The smell of chopped onions permeated the air at Normandy Farm Hotel & Conference Center where on Thursday the PennSuburban Chamber of Commerce held a Cooking for a Cause charity event.

Nanette Carney, CEO of Carney Group and a member of the chamber’s Women’s Network Committee, said Thursday’s event marked the committee’s 12th fundraiser in as many years. “This is the first time we’ve had a Cooking for a Cause event,” Carney said.

Those in attendance donned chef hats as they prepared their own dinners at one of several “prep” stations in the dining room. Normandy Farm chefs were there to lend their expertise, but most of the chopping, dicing, and slicing was done by the guests.

Before the prep work began there was a silent auction, the proceeds of which will go toward three beneficiaries picked by the chamber: the North Penn/Indian Valley Boys & Girls Clubs, The Wellness Community at the Anne McCouch Center, and the PennSuburban Chamber of Commerce Scholarship Fund.

Jake Dawson of the Boys & Girls Club, said it’s events like this that keep the doors open for the 6,000 children that are members of the two clubs. “Donations keep us going,” Dawson said. “It’s great to have a turn key event like this, where they do everything for us so we can focus on the children.” Kim Hinkelman, executive director of the Wellness Community, seconded Dawson’s appraisal of the fundraiser. “I love an event that benefits organizations, while the food will benefit other organizations,” Hinkelman said. She was referring to the second facet of the fundraiser.

In addition to preparing their own meals, guests also made casseroles that will be individually wrapped by the Normandy Farm staff and brought directly to the USO facility near the Willow Grove Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base.

Chef John Smith offered basic cooking tips leading up to the prep work. “If you start with something that looks like chicken, it should end up looking like chicken,” Smith said, adding later, “Have fun.” Melani Kodikian, owner of A to Z Party Rental in Spring House, appeared to be having fun with her group. “This is the most interactive chamber event I’ve ever been to,” Kodikian said.

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