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Northern Ohio Volunteers Celebrate a Successful 13th Annual Chef’s Fantasy Dinner and Auction


April 20, 2011

Chefs Brandt Evans, Karen Small and Donna Chriszt show off a plate of delicious bites at the Northern Ohio  Chapter’s Chef’s Fantasy Dinner and Auction held this March.
Chefs Brandt Evans, Karen Small and Donna Chriszt show off a plate of delicious bites at the Northern Ohio Chapter’s Chef’s Fantasy Dinner and Auction held this March.

Friends of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation’s Northern Ohio Chapter welcomed spring — and the season’s finest and freshest culinary offerings — at the Rehmann’s 13th Annual Chef’s Fantasy Dinner and Auction held March 19 at the Ritz-Carlton Cleveland.

More than 300 guests gathered to experience the VIP reception, six-course dinner with wine pairings, and spectacular auction packages, while raising $218,000 in support of the CF Foundation’s mission.

Chef’s Fantasy is an exceptional collaboration of corporate leaders, volunteers, chefs and CF Foundation staff,” says Stacey Langal, chapter development director. “The attendees of this event help fuel the research that has a positive impact on all those living with the disease, and for this we are very thankful.”

Words of Hope

The night’s honoree, Fred DiSanto, shared his story of losing his twin sisters to cystic fibrosis.

Members of the Znidarsic family showed their support of eighth-grader Maria, who has CF and spoke at the event.
Members of the Znidarsic family showed their support of eighth-grader Maria, who has CF and spoke at the event. “Maria is on many medications that have been developed and approved in her lifetime,” said Maria’s mom, Dr. Robin Znidarsic. “None of these medications would be possible without compassionate people like you. Your donations bring families like ours hope.”

He spoke passionately about the importance of putting an end to the disease and his gratitude for the attendees’ support.

Members of the Znidarsic family, including eighth-grader Maria who has CF, her mom Dr. Robin Znidarsic, and Maria’s sister Katie, kicked off the live and silent auctions. Katie’s inspiring Bid for a Cure speech raised an outstanding $45,000. “Not only is Maria my sister, but she is my best friend and one of the most inspirational people I’ve ever met,” Katie said. “Thank you for all of your donations — they have made such a difference in Maria’s life and all others living with CF.”

Inspired by these personal stories, guests bid on exciting items to support the CF cause, including relaxing vacations, golf getaways and fine dinners provided by the region’s acclaimed chefs.

The Northern Ohio Chapter would like to thank the event chair:

2011 Chef’s Fantasy honoree Fred DiSanto (left) and last year’s honoree Don Misheff express their gratitude to the more than 300 guests who helped raise $218,000.
2011 Chef’s Fantasy honoree Fred DiSanto (left) and last year’s honoree Don Misheff express their gratitude to the more than 300 guests who helped raise $218,000.

  • Joe Heider of Rehmann

Its Title Sponsor:

  • Rehmann

Premier Sponsors: 

  • Ancora
  • Invacare
  • Ernie Mansour
  • McDonald Hopkins

Chef’s Sponsors:

  • Medical Mutual
  • Shamrock Companies

Auction/Reception Sponsors:

  • AJD Holding
  • Benesch, Friedlander, Coplan & Aronoff
  • Hahn Loeser
  • Legal & General America

5 Star Sponsors:

  • Dr. Pamela Davis
  • Swagelok
  • WorkflowOne

4 Star Sponsors:

  • DeGrandis, Leff and Heinen
  • Ernst & Young
  • JL Thomas & Co.
  • Panzica Construction

3 Star Sponsors:

  • Cleveland Cement
  • St. Ignatius HS

2 Star Sponsors:

  • Ms. Sandra Baumann
  • Mr. Albert Eisenberg
  • John Hancock
  • Osborne Capital Group
  • Mr. Brian Pittner
  • Roth Parkway Pharmacy
  • Franklin Square

Its committee members:

  • Joe Heider, Event Chair
  • Tim Clepper, Event Vice-Chair
  • Mark Bonhard
  • Donna Chriszt, Coordinating Chef
  • Rifka Claypool
  • Ryan Dawson, Designer
  • Gregg Eisenberg
  • Rachel Heiser
  • Jan Lochotzki, Printer
  • Keith Morris, Wine Coordinator
  • Brian Pittner
  • Jody Pittner, Art Auction Coordinator
  • Lance Osborne
  • Kathi Thomas
  • Mike Thomas
  • Roger Thomas
  • Mary Tolaro
  • Paul Voinovich - Vocon
  • Bob Troop, 2009 Honoree
  • Don Misheff, 2010 Honoree

And other key volunteers and sponsors who helped make the event a success:

  • Continental Airlines
  • Heidelberg Distributors, Wine Trends and Cline Cellars - wine providers
  • Jan Lochotzki, Liz McKean, WorkflowOne and Ken Dooner - printer
  • Chris Madden - videographer
  • Kathi Thomas and Mary Tolaro - program editors
  • Celeste Tober of Celeste M. Photography - chef photos
  • Rachel Trem - piece design and stationery

The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation is an accredited charity of the Better Business Bureau.