Tenth Annual Dave Thomas Celebrity Cookoff

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For 10 years local celebrities have been rolling up their sleeves to chop and cook at the Japanese Steakhouse Benihana to benefit Three Rivers Adoption Council. On Sept. 15 Benihana closed their doors to the general public and the party was on for TRAC.

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FIRST TIME COOK—Emmai Alaquiva of the Emmy Award winning studio Ya Momz House.

The big tent went up in the parking lot to accommodate the silent auction before dinner and the dessert gala after dinner. Deejay Nick Nice was in the tent providing music and a good attitude to bid by. TRAC also had mystery grab bags for sale for $20. The contents of the bags were a surprise but you were guaranteed to have an item worth more than $20 inside.

 

The light and fun atmosphere of the evening raises money for the sole purpose of TRAC, which is to improve adoption opportunities for all children who are growing up without the love and support of a permanent family. During the past year TRAC has served over 300 families, and 742 children.

The real fun begins when the guests sit down for dinner and people like yours truly are wielding the sharp utensils and really cooking the food. There were a number of media celebrities in the house including: Elaine Effort (KQV), Chris Fennimore (WQED), Lynn Hayes Freeland (KDKA), and Danielle Smith (WGBN).

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SIGN MY APRON— Robin Cole (former Steeler) and Lynn Hayes Freeland (KDKA-TV).

Government celebrities were swinging a knife instead of a gavel. The Hon. Kim Berkeley Clark, Mayor Luke Ravenstahl, Jim Roddey, former Allegheny County Chief Executive; The Hon. Joe Williams; Recorder of Deeds, Valerie McDonald Roberts and the Hon. Alan Hertzberg cooked scrimp and steak with ease.

The cooks were joined by Johnny Angel and the Halos, Robin Cole (former Pittsburgh Steeler) and community volunteer Meena Hill. Also donning aprons were celebrity business associates: Scott Brown (Citizen’s Bank), Ted Roberts (IBM), Janice Talerico (Giant Eagle), Diane Yecko (BT Property Associates), Scott Hollander (Kids Voice) and Chuck DiLoreto (PWC Property Solutions).

As always TRAC CEO Jacqueline Wilson was overjoyed by the turn out and says she truly appreciates the generosity and interest that the volunteers have in making a difference in the lives of the children that they serve.

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