7 DAYS FOR SIDS 2007: Impressions


June 11-June 17 2007 was 7 DAYS FOR SIDS week in the Cincinnati area. SIDS is Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, which is the number one cause of death for infants aged one week to one year. 7 DAYS FOR SIDS was founded by Jean-Robert de Cavel and his wife, Annette following the tragic death of their baby daughter Tatiana to SIDS on June 13 2002.

Money raised from 7 DAYS FOR SIDS benefits the Sudden Infant Death Network of Ohio by providing research, education, and parental support as well as the Tatiana de Cavel Scholarship Fund at the Midwest Culinary Institute. The mission of the Sudden Infant Death Network of Ohio is to work towards the reduction and eventual elimination of SIDS through a multidisciplinary approach of: the promotion of infant health and wellness, community outreach, education, and medical research. In addition, the Sudden Infant Death Network is dedicated to providing supportive services to those who have been affected by the loss of a child, age 2 and under, from a Sudden Infant Death (SIDS) or Other Infant Death (OID).

I was proud to serve on the planning committee this year after working at the event as a volunteer for the past couple years. Besides a fair amount of behind-the-scenes work, I participated in a significant way in two of the signature events: Chefapalooza and the Fathers’ Day Champagne Brunch and Silent Auction.

Chefapalooza was held at the Midwest Culinary Institute (MCI) at Cincinnati State Technical and Community College on Tuesday, June 12, 2007. While the guests arrived and enjoyed cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, I performed the role of Kitchen Manager, overseeing & assisting with production of the food items used for the chef demos and served to the guests, in addition to liaisoning between the guest chefs and the students of Midwest Culinary Institute. Wendy joined as a volunteer in the front of the house after her workday. She greeted guests, helped them to their seats, and passed out programs before the demos. The chef demos were presented by the very entertaining team of Jean-Robert de Cavel and David Cook, followed by a demo by Nathalie Dupree, our celebrity guest for the evening. Ms. Dupree cooked a couple dishes from her new book, Nathalie Dupree’s Shrimp & Grits Cookbook. After the demos, guests were brought back to the Summit Room, MCI’s teaching-restaurant space to sample the items the chefs had created. I assisted by motivating the back of house staff, re-stocking food and serviceware, and with serving food. Though she wasn’t dressed for it, Wendy was pressed into service helping Jean-Robert work through the crowd that gathered at his food station. Attendance at this event was good (though a bit lighter than in previous years) and donations poured in, in no small part from sales of autographed copies of Ms. Dupree’s book, the proceeds of which she generously donated back to SIDS.

The second signature event Wendy & I worked on was the Father’s Day Brunch & Silent Auction. Held in the beautiful private dining rooms of Union Terminal, this event attracted more than 200 guests to sample the brunch offerings of lots of Cincinnati-area restaurants, enjoy belly dancers, quaff champagne, and bid on more than 100 items in our silent auction. Wendy & I arrived at 10:00am to assist with load-in and setup, and ran pretty much non-stop until we had to leave for a family obligation.

The reports are still being tallied and the proceeds counted, but we believe that with all the events of the week, 7 DAYS FOR SIDS has raised in the neighborhood of $90,000 this year — a tremendous success. While that amount isn’t a lot in terms of modern scientific research, we are hopeful that the cure for SIDS will be found with this money. Because without SIDS, everyone will sleep better.

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