Charitable Endeavors

While the business of kitchen and bath design can be complex and multifaceted, it remains a universal truth that consumers prefer to patronize companies that care about more than just the bottom line. Dealers, designers and manufacturers that are active in giving back tend to build stronger bonds with their community, and set an example for others.

As such, Kitchen and Bath Design News’ Charitable Endeavors department spotlights companies’ efforts to give back to the community. This month’s Charitable Endeavors looks at one company and countless chefs that held a fundraiser to benefit Cookies for Kids’ Cancer pediatric cancer foundation.

More than 250 attendees were treated to a multi-course meal created by 43 chefs from New York’s top restaurants recently at the Cookies for Kids’ Cancer’s first-ever Chefs for Kids’ Cancer benefit. The sold-out crowd watched as chefs prepared spectacular dishes from over 20 back-to-back cooking stations located in the center of the room. The stations featured 25 Samsung Slide-In Flex Duo Oven Electric Ranges, donated by Samsung Electronics America, Inc. for the event.

“The story behind Cookies for Kids’ Cancer and the research supported through the organization’s efforts are truly remarkable. Samsung is thrilled to be supporting such a great cause through this meaningful benefit,” said Kevin Dexter, senior v.p. of Home Appliances Sales and Marketing, Samsung Electronics America. “Cookies for Kids’ Cancer organized an exciting evening and we are honored to have celebrated chefs prepare their culinary delights on Samsung’s Slide-in Flex Duo Ranges.”

Under the direction of event co-chairs Jonathan Benno, chef for Lincoln Ristorante, and Dan Kluger, chef for abc kitchen, Chefs for Kids’ Cancer featured such world-renowned talents as Michael Toscano from Perla, Montmartre, Jeffrey’s; Jason Lawless from Tocqueville; Nick Anderer from Maialino; Geoffrey Zakarian from The Lambs Club; Marc Forgione from Restaurant Marc Forgione, and Sean Gray from Momofuku Ko. All of the chefs worked diligently to create amazing dishes to benefit pediatric cancer treatment research.

The organization was founded in 2008 by Gretchen and Larry Witt, one year after their two-year-old son Liam was diagnosed with Neuroblastoma in 2007. At the time of his diagnosis, his parents were shocked to learn of the lack of effective treatments for pediatric cancers due to lack of funding. They pledged to support the development of research for safer, more effective treatments.

With the assistance of 250 volunteers, Gretchen Wyatt baked and sold 96,000 cookies, raising more than $400,000 for research. Cookies for Kids’ Cancer is committed to raising funds for research to develop new, improved treatments for pediatric cancer.

Through the concept of local bake sales and online cookie sales, Cookies for Kids’ Cancer inspires individuals, organizations and businesses to join in the fight against pediatric cancer by raising the funds and awareness. Through Cookies for Kids’ Cancer, thousands of bake sales and other events, raising millions of dollars, have been held in all 50 states, as well as 15 countries including Puerto Rico, Canada and the U.K.

Although Liam Witt lost his four-year battle with cancer, he and all children fighting childhood cancer continue to be the organization’s inspiration.

Cookies for Kids’ Cancer has raised more than $8 million and funded nearly four dozen research projects, seven of which have become treatments available for children fighting the disease.