Above: attendees take part in Stir It Up Nov. 6 at Elkhorn Area High School, a fundraiser for four area causes. Below: Donna Neshek and Ed Scaro, co-chairs, welcomed nearly 650 attendees to the event which raised more than $40,000 in large part to the generosity of area restaurants that donated their time, product and staff. (Submitted photos)

Above: attendees take part in Stir It Up Nov. 6 at Elkhorn Area High School, a fundraiser for four area causes. Below: Donna Neshek and Ed Scaro, co-chairs, welcomed nearly 650 attendees to the event which raised more than $40,000 in large part to the generosity of area restaurants that donated their time, product and staff. (Submitted photos)

Nearly 650 attend second annual food-focused fundraiser

By Heather Ruenz

Staff Writer

A countywide, charitable fundraiser – Stir It Up – received support from numerous businesses, nearly 650 attendees and raised more than $40,000 for area causes Nov. 6.

The event, held Nov. 6 at Elkhorn Area High School, was sponsored through a partnership with VIP Services, Inc. and the Rotary Club of Elkhorn. Stir It Up, in its second annual event, aimed to provide a creative way for residents of Walworth County to support a group of area causes.

stir-co-chairs-below-on-right-medium      The more than $40,000 raised will benefit the following recipients for this year’s event: VIP Services, Inc.; the Association for the Prevention of Family Violence; the Elkhorn Area Youth Center, and; the Elkhorn Area High School Music program.

Julie Cotter, VIP Services Director of Development, said the initial idea for a new fundraiser began a couple years ago.

“We decided we needed a new fundraiser and one that could grow over the years. Donna Neshek, our board chair, had heard about a similar event in Illinois. A few representatives attended that event and thought it was something we could easily pull off here in Walworth County,” Cotter said.

The Elkhorn Rotary handles lining up area restaurants to participate, Cotter said.

“They cast a wide net to try and include restaurants from throughout the county. Those that participated last year were invited back and this year a few new ones joined in so it’s growing,” she said.

About 100 more people attended this year than last, and menu items covered a wide variety of offerings, from teriyaki tenderloin skewers, to gourmet desserts, to Parmesan Crustini.

Cotter said the restaurants involved really go all out to support the event. This year there were 19 at Stir It Up.

“The restaurants donate their time, their staff and their product – and if they run out of product during the event, they go back to their restaurant to get more,” she said.

Cotter credits Ellen Weber, whom she refers to as the “master fundraiser” for leading the charge on raffle prizes, from Green Bay Packers, Milwaukee Brewers and Wisconsin Badgers sports memorabilia, to homemade quilts – including one Weber herself made – and everything in between.

“Ellen’s quilt focused on Wisconsin but had nothing to do with the sports teams and it was amazing. She did a great job and is such a talented person,” Cotter said.

Co-chairs for Stir It Up were Donna Neshek and Ed Scaro of the VIP Services Board. They lead the event’s joint planning committee, comprised of members of the Elkhorn Rotary Club, Elkhorn Area High School personnel as well as other community leaders.

Entertainment was provided by area high school students including: Big Foot High School Jazz Ensemble, Delavan-Darien High School String Choir and Elkhorn High School Jazz Band and Chamber Choir and Westosha-Central High School’s Central Swing Inc.

“On behalf of VIP Services, we are very appreciative of the opportunity to collaborate on this great event which is a new annual fall tradition,” Cynthia Simonsen, VIP Services Executive Director, said.

“Stir It Up is a creative way to support the organizations that serve the greater good throughout Walworth County and also provides a venue to showcase our musically talented youth,” Simonsen added.

Gold sponsors for the event were Kunes Country Auto Group and Peoples Bank. Additionally, numerous other area businesses, organizations and members of the Walworth County community and beyond made the event possible through sponsorships, donations and ticket sales.

This year’s event, Cotter said, was a great success, raising more than $6,000 more than last year.

Tickets were $30 for adults and $10 for children 5 to 14 years old. There were also price breaks with a couple’s ticket for $50, and a family ticket (good for two adults and up to three children) for $75.

VIP Services, Inc. is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization serving adults with disabilities and helping them to achieve their highest levels of independence. A greatly expanded transportation program now also serves seniors, veterans and adults with disabilities throughout Walworth County.

Rotary Club of Elkhorn has a history of more than 45 years of service being chartered on July 19, 1969. Rotary’s high ideals of friendship, fellowship, international understanding, and service are applied in personal, business, and community life by the over 49 members of our Elkhorn Rotary Club. The club is a part of the worldwide fellowship of Rotary International.

 

 

 
 

No comments

Be the first one to leave a comment.

Post a Comment