June 9-15 2008 was the annual 7 DAYS FOR SIDS fundraiser for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). I had the honor of serving on the Planning Committee for my second year.

7 Days for SIDS raises money for awareness and research towards the eradication of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome), the number one cause of death of children from birth to one year, through the Sudden Infant Death Network of Ohio. And to sustain the Tatiana de Cavel Scholarship Fund at the Midwest Culinary Institute at Cincinnati State Technical and Community College.

While we’re still sorting through everything, it looks as though Sunday’s Father’s Day Brunch (we’re still adding up the rest of the week’s donations)may put this year in line to be a record-setting year for this event!

I worked the Brunch on Sunday. My responsibilities included assisting chefs with load-in of their food (I worked at the dock to get the chef’s equipment and supplies onto rolling carts, which were delivered to the chef’s table by Erin and Melissa, two students), directing chefs on where to go, solving problems (like getting Jean-Francois’ (Taste from Belgium) power back on when the circuits kept blowing!), general cleanup, mingling with the guests, and announcing various things (for some reason, no one knew how to access the Public Address system in the building, so we resorted to, well, shouting).

Jean-Robert & Annette de Cavel (of Jean-Robert at Pigall’s) were busy most of the day greeting guests as they arrived to the event. While I’m sure being busy didn’t completely quiet their minds, I hope the positive nature of the busy-ness was a relief from the sadness associated with the timing of this event – it falls near the anniversary of the loss of their baby daughter, Tatiana.

During this year’s event, I learned a bit about the history of 7 DAYS FOR SIDS… After Tatiana’s death in 2002, Jean-Robert (“JR”) and Annette wanted to host a one-night memorial/fundraiser event in March of 2003. As word of the event spread throughout the Cincinnati restaurant community, offers of support and participation flooded in from chefs, restaurants, and other businesses to help out in any way they could. With such an outpouring of love and support, the event envisioned by JR & Annette, which was intend to be one-night-only, quickly expanded into a week’s worth of activities

Now, the week includes golf outings, special donations from restaurants (for example, proceeds from the sale of certain menu items during the week), cooking demonstrations (including live cooking demos from 10 chefs at the wonderful kitchens of Homearama), art shows, brunches, bowling, a silent auction, and new this year, a live auction event. Also new this year is a commemorative CD with recipes, chef bios, a video, and SIDS information.

Now in it’s 5th year, 7 DAYS FOR SIDS…

* has raised nearly $400,000 for SIDS research

* is the largest supporter of the Sudden Infant Death Network of Ohio

* is the second largest SIDS fundraiser in the country

It is our hope to eradicate SIDS so no family has to experience the heartache of losing a child to SIDS.

Because when we put an end to SIDS, we all sleep better at night.

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