NEWBURYPORT — In compliance with COVID-19 protocols, the Anna Jaques Hospital Aid Association transformed its annual Great Chefs' Night into a weeklong event, supporting restaurants and the hospital from April 25 to May 1.
Though different, the event will still feature food options from a range of Greater Newburyport restaurants, as well as an online auction and raffle.
The fundraiser for the association typically draws about 500 people to the Blue Ocean Music Hall in Salisbury, according to board member Kristin Hunter.
Restaurants usually donate food, but the association realized they need support just as much, she said.
For each $50 voucher sold, half of the proceeds will go to the restaurants while the other half will go to the association.
The vouchers can be redeemed for two- or three-course meals at any of the 14 participating restaurants.
In Amesbury, that includes Blue Moon Kitchen and Bar, Crave, Phat Cats Bistro and Ristorante Molise. In Newburyport, vouchers can be used at Carry Out Cafe, Loretta, Metzy's Cantina, Michael's Harborside, Oregano Pizzeria & Ristorante, The Poynt and Sea Level Oyster Bar.
Also participating are Capri Seaside Italian Kitchen & Pizzeria and Seaglass Restaurant and Lounge, both in Salisbury, and The American BBQ in Rowley.
"We really are trying to make it easy for people within the surrounding community to go to their favorite spot or try a new place," Hunter said. "Either way, it's a win-win."
Vouchers are available for either dine-in or takeout meals, but they must be used the week of April 25 to May 1.
Drinks and food outside of the special menu can be purchased separately. Tax is included in the vouchers, but gratuity is not.
There is also an option for people to donate $50 vouchers to front-line health care workers at Anna Jaques Hospital as a thank-you for their efforts amid the pandemic.
"Having a community hospital during this time has been so invaluable, whether it's just been for regular testing or people that have had a family member there getting the care that they needed over the last 12-plus months," Hunter said.
Vouchers can be picked up in the rear parking lot of 18 Highland Ave. on Friday between noon and 6 p.m. or Saturday between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.
There will be an online auction the same week featuring items such as a diamond necklace donated by M.K. Benatti Jewelers in Newburyport, a weekend on Nantucket and a backyard firepit with a movie projector bundle.
There is also a raffle for a $5,000 vacation for two with a choice of either Sedona, Arizona; Bermuda; or Isle of Palms, South Carolina. Tickets are $50 and the association will sell up to 200. The vacation was donated by BNY Mellon.
"We've had a lot of fun with it, trying to be imaginative and really making things easy for people," Hunter said.
The presenting sponsor is BankProv. Other sponsors include BNY Mellon, People's United Bank, Newburyport Bank, Institution for Savings, Finneran & Nicholson, P.C., Porsche Stratham, Audi Stratham and 8 Waves Creative.
The association has already sold about 200 tickets and nearly 75 donated vouchers for front-line workers, Hunter said.
To learn more, to see the special menus or to purchase vouchers, visit www.ajh.org/aid-association/greatchefs.