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Ideas for a new and interesting food-related fundraiser


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I am the chair of my daughter's high school Safe & Sane Committee (Safe & Sane is a post-graduation party that begins immediately after graduation and goes through the night, ending at 6AM the following morning). The focus of the event is to keep the graduates off the roads on what is historically a very dangerous night for teen drivers.

Anyway ..... in order to entice the kids to come to the school-sanctioned party instead of an open-field beer-fest, we are charged with organizing an entertaining, fun-filled, exciting night for them. ANd this all costs money. Lots of money. $30,000 - $40,000 on average. Yes, it's a ridiculous sum of money - but if our efforts succeed in keeping the kids from drinking and driving on graduation night, it's worth it.

To raise the money, we sponsor lots of fundraisers throughout the year. ANd that is what I'm writing about today.

I need some advice on how to approach some chefs to ask for their help in reaching our goal.

In our town of Frederick, Maryland, we are indeed fortunate to have some very fine chefs. Some are famous, some aren't. The famous one, (our very own Bryan Voltaggio), is actually a graduate of the high school whose party I'm planning! I would really LOVE to invite Bryan to participate in an event that would help to raise money for our cause. He's such a prominent figure in the community, and his popularity is soaring here.

The problem is, EVERYONE in our town seems to be asking him to donate something: time, food, facilities, etc. I'm concerned that I would be just another beggar in line for his valuable time! We do have the high school alum connection, so I'm hoping that will help our case.

So - here are my questions for you.

How should I approach him to request his help? Our theme for the party this year is "Jersey Shore". We were thinking of having some of the drama students meet with him in their Jersey Shore get-ups to ask for his help. Enticing or lame?

What type of event do you think would be acceptable? (I know right now that a local charity is selling raffle tickets for a cooking lesson with him).

Would people buy a $150 ticket to have dinner at Volt if it included one glass of wine and the chance for a meet and great with the chef?

Do you think that there is any chance that other "Top Chef" chefs in our area might be willing to help? (Mike Isabella, Carla Hall, Spike Mendelsohn). If so - what type of event might encourage them to participate?

Any advice you give would be greatly appreciated.


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