Auxiliary helps veterans
In mid-October, Winnie Chasteen, Elmore’s American Legion Auxiliary Veteran Affairs and Rehabilitation Chairman, initiated two projects for Ottawa County veterans – “Buddy Back Packs” and “Veteran Families in Need.”
The Auxiliary has donated 17 Buddy Back Packs containing various items that a homeless person would need to Wade Park Veteran’s Hospital. Fortunately, Ottawa County had no homeless Veterans in December.
The Families in Need project collected foodstuffs, meat and gifts, which were assembled and delivered to needy veterans’ families with the help of Elmore Golden Oldies.
Donations were contributed by Veteran Day dinner attendees, Lee Williams Meats, Woodmore High School, Legion and American Legion Auxiliary members, and even a young man passing by the Legion Hall, according to Mitzie Paule, Past District American Legion Auxiliary president. “What wasn’t donated was purchased with Poppy Day contributions thanks to our community,” she said.
Chefs are a cut above
On Jan. 5, Zia’s Italian Restaurant at The Docks in Toledo hosted Mainstreet Ventures’ Second Annual “Top Knife” competition.
The live cook-off competition featured 15 competitors from MSV restaurants who showcased uniquely-styled dishes.
Competitors, who earned a spot by competing against their peers with their chosen entrees in their local markets, came from MSV restaurants in nine cities across five states including Ohio, Michigan, Florida, Maryland and West Virginia. Local participants included Chef Wes Wright from Ciao! in Sylvania, Omar Orra from Real Seafood Company in Toledo and Tracy Russel from Zia’s in Toledo.
Food service industry leaders served as judges, making their decisions based on taste, plating and presentation, among other criteria.
Chef Jason Self, from Real Seafood Company in Ann Arbor, and Sous Chef Matt Barnes from Carson’s American Bistro, also in Ann Arbor tied for top honors. Orra earned honorable mention.
The winners received a plaque that will be displayed at their respective restaurants for one year. They also won a cash prize and a special knife and will receive recognition at this year’s MSV President’s Award of Excellence Recognition Dinner.