, Newburyport, MA

May 14, 2013

Great Chefs' Night raises $47,000 for AJH

Newburyport Daily News

---- — To the editor:

It takes a village.

On March 22 the Anna Jaques Hospital Aid Association hosted its signature fundraiser, Great Chefs’ Night, raising almost $47,000 for our community hospital. This year’s theme was an especially significant one: “Celebrating 25 Years with Great Chefs.”

We would like to thank the Institution for Savings and the Newburyport Five Cents Savings Bank for once again serving as presenting sponsors for this gala. Also, special thanks to our sponsors, without whom we would not have been able to host this event: Appledore Medical Group/Clipper Cardiovascular, Colden & Seymour ENT, DGP Realty, Matter Communications, M.K. Benatti Jewelers, New Self Medical Weight Loss Center/Seacoast Medical, Newburyport Gastroenterology, North Shore Internal Medicine, RiverSong Plastic Surgery, The Provident Bank, Watts Eye Associates/Vision Source, Arthur S. Page Insurance, Daniel Lynch Pharmacy, Circle Finishing, Clipper City Car Wash, iMarc LLC, Karen Holmes Physical Therapy, Lombardi Oil & Gas, Port Plaza Cleaners and Whittier IPA.

Great Chefs’ Night may easily be considered culinary chic with a capital cause. Our restaurant coordinators, Gregg Pugh of PI Beachcoma and Paula Simpson of Carry Out Café, worked to bring in the best of the best from the area’s restaurateurs. Our thanks to each of these chefs whose savory tastings provided epicurean delights.

These talented chefs indeed represented some of our area’s finest restaurants: The Ale House, Andiamo, the AJH Café, Atria Merrimack Place Café, the Black Cow, Bob Lobster, Carry Out Café and Catering, David’s Fish Market, David’s Tavern, Edible Arrangements, The Grog, Loretta, Mad Martha’s Café, Harborside Catering, Mission Oak Grill, Old Town Bread Company, Oregano, PI Beachcoma, Plum Island Coffee Roasters, Port City Sandwich, Ten Center Street and Willowdale Estates.

Thank you to our auction and raffle donors: Action Ambulance, the AJH Gift Shop, American BBQ, Mark Goldstein, the Boston Celtics, Symphony Hall, Boston Yacht Haven Inn & Marina, C& J Bus Lines, Compass Rose Inn, Eastern Standard, Enzo Restaurant & Bar, Essex Street Inn, Flatbread Co., Glenn’s Restaurant & Cool Bar, Grossman Marketing, Hall & Moskow, Hatter’s Point Marina, Interlocks Salon and Day Spa, Kaya Jewelers, Leary’s Fine Wines & Spirits, Merrimac Mill Building, Monte Verde Art Glass Studio, Newburyport Brewing Co., Newburyport Chamber of Commerce, Newburyport Lighting Co., Not Your Average Joe’s, Plum Island Grille, Port Tavern, South Liquor Mart, Winning Solutions, John Coyle, Pat Connelly, Kathy and Richie Eaton, Frank and Betty Knox, Tricia Mansfield, Peg McClure, Kate Murray, Susie Parker, Elizabeth Leary Strazulla, Dianne Wilkinson, Carol Buckley, Lee Yeomans, Kavy and Kelly Yesair.

We truly appreciate the financial support of Terry Blanchard, Mike Roy, Janet Marcus, Dr. Francis MacMillan, Jr., Sandy and Ray Jenkins, John Kelly, Elizabeth and Richard Rooney, Diantha Brown, The Law offices of Connolly & Connolly, Marty & Patty Doggett, Sarah Gnerre and Chris Mulligan, Esq., Hatter’s Point, Newburyport Medical Associates, Tallman Eye Associates, Urology Consultants, West Newbury Readers/GAR Memorial Library Patrons, Nancy Thurlow, James G. Zafris, Jr., Anne White, Mr. and Mrs. Peter Hoyt, Berenice McLaughlin, Mimi and Larry Reeves, David Loring, Lindsay Cavanagh, Dr. and Mrs. Ben Heersink, Delia O’Connor, Jack Bradshaw and Denise Marien, Peter Depesa, Mike and Martha Terry, and Anne Tuthill.

We would also like to recognize the contributions and support of Denise’s Flower Shop, Nunan Florist & Greenhouse, Governor’s Academy, Coca Cola Bottling Company, Seaboard Products/Great Brewers, Mike Steer of Seaport Signworks of Salisbury, Pam Johnson of Travelling Bartenders, Ipswich Ale and our fantastic wait staff from Triton Regional High School.

Our heartfelt thanks go to Esther Sayer, this year’s emcee and auctioneer, who helped put the sparkle in our evening. Additional sparkle derived from the music of Kevin O’Rourke, Ron Chane, Matt Beard and Mark Luchini of Don’t Call Me Shirley. They literally kept everyone on their feet dancing the night away.

Aid members Rachel Navarra and Susie Parker, this year’s co-chairs, are to be heartily congratulated. With the help of their fellow Aid Association members, they worked tirelessly for the last several months to make the evening a huge success.

This special evening also marked the 125th year of the existence of the Aid Association, which was established in 1888. For 125 years, all proceeds from the Aid’s fundraisers have gone to supporting patient services and have helped to maintain Anna Jaques as a topnotch facility with up-to-date technology.

At its annual meeting each year, the Aid Association presents a gift to AJH, and the 2012 amount was a record breaker at $82,025. A large portion of this donation comes from the Aid’s fundraisers (Great Chefs, bake sales, art sales, etc.), but more than 50 percent of the annual donation amount comes from the proceeds of the hospital Gift Shop, which is owned and operated by the Aid Association.

Again our deepest gratitude to the many Greater Newburyport restaurants, chefs, caterers, businesses, high school volunteers, and faithful family and friends of Anna Jaques who have unstintingly sponsored Great Chefs’ Night and have readily donated their time, services and goods to the cause. Our patrons and attendees are also heartily thanked. The civic-mindedness and tremendous spirit of giving lend real credence to the notion that it “takes a village.”

A million thanks! We could not have done it without all of you.

Mary Zerigian, President

Anna Jaques Hospital Aid Association