Over the years, the Cleveland Chapter of Les Dames d’Escoffier
(LDEI) has raised money through its annual fundraising events to seed scholarships and grants that help Ohio women attend culinary school and teach Northeast Ohio residents about the link between food and the farmers who produce it.
But this year, the COVID-19 pandemic has compelled planners at LDEI to get creative about their fundraising efforts. In place of the annual SummerDine event, the non-profit has announced “Out of the Box,” a Cleveland-themed auction and sale that features items from small, local businesses that happen to be perfect for gift giving.
“Social distancing required by the pandemic has forced us to think OUT OF THE BOX
to raise the funds for our 2021 philanthropic efforts,” says Melissa McClelland, Chapter Chair. “After much creative thought, we’re going online with gift boxes for purchase by friends of LDEI and the general public, just in time for the holidays.”
From now through early December, supporters can purchase and bid on gift certificates, products, dinners and experiences. The items – ranging in value from $35 to $500-plus – will be listed on LDEI Cleveland’s Facebook page
: Vitamix’s top-of-the line, high-performance blender
Wine Tour and Overnight in the Grand River Valley
: Includes weekend stay for two at Lodge at Geneva-on-the-Lake with immersive winery tour
12 Beer of Christmas from Der Braumeister
: 12 1-liter howlers of exclusive German and Belgian brews
Brunch for 8 at Lucky’s Café
: Just like it sounds
Holiday Ham and Charcuterie
: Feast includes cheese board of meats, charcuterie, cheeses, preserves and crackers as well as a 10-pound, nitrite-free, smoked heritage ham prepared by Ohio City Provisions
There also will be various dinners for two, a Canton Food Tour, honeybee seminar, breakfast-in-bed box and more.
“We are also putting together exclusive Made in the CLE boxes that include food products from local entrepreneurs,” McClelland adds. Those boxes will include products from Cleveland Kraut, Le Cracker, Mama Jo Homestyle Pies, Pat’s Granola, Storehouse Teas and others.
The chapter awarded its 2020 Culinary Scholarship to Gabrielle Shipta of Seven Hills. She’s using the $2,000 prize to help with tuition at Cuyahoga Community College.