by Carreen Schroeder
Kick off your holiday season with Niagara Cerebral Palsy and Aspire of WNY.
From 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 20, NCP and Aspire of WNY will host an exceptional culinary and gift gathering event at the Niagara Falls Culinary Institute.
The "Merry and Bright" evening is a way to commence the holiday season in style with local wines showcased by the Niagara Falls Culinary Institute's Wine Boutique, featuring wines from New York state, along with microbrews and hors d'oeuvres.
For a donation of $20, guests will enjoy a variety of specially prepared foods from a "plateau de crudités," including tasty cheeses, a fig and goat cheese pizza and chicken satay with barbecue sauce and a Mediterranean dip with sushi, compliments of Wegmans. There will be an assortment of holiday cookies, cakes and a variety of other sweets for dessert sure to delight the senses.
Would you like to learn how to make a "Scottish Snowball," an "Evergreen," a "Red Garland" or a special holiday punch? Want to learn how to prepare a tasty squash risotto? The Culinary Institute will be offering holiday cocktail and food demonstrations.
NCP and Aspire of WNY will continue their annual tradition of gift gathering for the families and children for whom they provide an invaluable service. They will accept toys, gift cards and cash donations.
Do you have a unique gift donation in mind? NCP and Aspire of WNY encourage you to contact them with your creative ideas for gifts.
For years, NCP and Aspire of WNY have worked collaboratively, going above and beyond to help brighten the holidays for the families within their care. They have traditionally worked internally, bringing individuals home for the holidays and offering gifts through their giving tree approach, but they are now reaching out to the community for help.
As Aspire Vice President of Development Michael Holley pointed out, the annual gift giving tradition "makes a huge difference for our families. The children have no idea where the gifts actually come from. The families are the heroes, and we just stay in the background."
NCP Community Development Coordinator Katharine Kirchmeyer added, "It is nice to be able to give back. It is nice to do something for the people we serve. They are like family to us."
NCP first opened its doors in 1954 and, 60 years later, it continues to be a leader in assisting individuals with disabilities and their families by offering support from educational, residential, vocational and clinical services to service coordination. In 2013, it was honored as a Buffalo Business First "Best Places To Work" organization.
Aspire of WNY began its service to the community in 1947. Over the years, it has grown and strengthened, providing services to individuals with developmental disabilities and their families. From employment services and child care, to health care, community living, service coordination and respite and recreation services, Aspire of WNY is committed to supporting the community to the best of its ability.
Sponsors for the "Merry and Bright" event include Buffalo Wheelchair, Dobmeier Janitor Supply Inc., Dopkins and Company LLP, Kolt Access and Lift, Main Mobility Inc. and Vsco Inc.
The Niagara Falls Culinary Institute is located at 28 Old Falls St., Niagara Falls. Donations are graciously accepted at the door. If you plan on attending with a large party, it is advised you call Kirchmeyer at 716-297-0798 to RSVP.
For banquet inquiries at the Niagara Falls Culinary Institute, contact Stacey Juliano at 716-210-2549 or via email at [email protected].