WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. – A sellout crowd of more than 300 Putnam and Westchester residents, community advocates, and volunteers supported United Way of Westchester and Putnam at the sixth annual “Best Chefs and Fine Wines” event Monday, Sept. 15.
Event proceeds will help support United Way’s health initiatives in Westchester and Putnam, such as providing healthy foods to low-income families, reducing childhood obesity and steering teens away from risky behaviors such as drug and alcohol use.
Two dozen area restaurants served up tastings of delicious dishes, fine wines and craft beers at Putnam County Golf Course in Mahopac. A silent auction and live music from Art Labriola entertained guests as they experienced the area’s top culinary offerings.
“Best Chefs is a celebration of the finest culinary talents in our area and an opportunity to raise awareness and the necessary funds for United Way’s health initiatives,” said Alana Sweeny, president and CEO of United Way. “We graciously thank all of the evening’s sponsors, participating restaurants and the community for supporting us in this mission.”
The evening’s sponsors included AkzoNobel and PURE Insurance (Premier Sponsors); Hudson Valley Federal Credit Union (Patron Sponsor); Ace Endico, Lynlil Associates, and Pulte Group (Supporting Sponsors); Putnam County Tourism, Putnam Ridge and Tompkins Mahopac Bank (Sustaining Sponsors); in addition to numerous sponsors at the Community level.
Prior to “Best Chefs and Fine Wines,” United Way recognized the important work of its board members, volunteers, and supporters at its 52nd Annual Meeting. An awards ceremony honored recipients of United Way’s Spirit of Westchester and Putnam Awards, given in recognition of outstanding leadership in the categories of Corporate (UPS), Community (Women’s Leadership Steering Committee of United Way), Volunteer (David Yawman, Esq., PepsiCo), and Partnership (The Putnam Community Service Network Partnership).
United Way, in partnership with the Westchester County Department of Social Services and the Urban League, also recognized the 2014-2015 Ruth Taylor Scholarship Awardees, a group of nine graduate students pursuing degrees in social work or public health. Since the inception of the Ruth Taylor Scholarship program seven years ago, more than $93,000 has been awarded to local graduate students in these service-related fields.
The honorees included Casey Baginski (Yorktown Heights), Simon Bresler (White Plains), Veronica Castro (White Plains), Deanna Frugis (Ossining), Maryam Vernon-Kalantari (Ossining), Katie O’Leary (Yorktown Heights), Marisa Ragonese (Mohegan Lake), Deborah Stromes (Somers), and Sarah Tartaglia (Rye).
Caption for 5th Photo: (Top, left to right): John Befus, deputy commissioner, finance and administration, Westchester County Dept. of Social Services; 2014-2015 Ruth Taylor Scholarship recipients Katie O’Leary and Maryam Vernon-Kalantari; Karen Bonaparte, vice president, strategic initiatives, United Way of Westchester and Putnam; and Sharon Thomas, director of harm reduction program, Urban League of Westchester County. (Bottom, left to right – bottom row): 2014-2015 Ruth Taylor Scholarship recipients Deanna Frugis, Deborah Stromes, and Marisa Ragonese, who were honored at United Way’s 52nd Annual Meeting Sept. 15 at Putnam County Golf Course.
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