MaxLove Project—an Orange County nonprofit dedicated to improving the lives of child cancer survivors and their families—raised $206,000 at October’s Farm to Fork Dinner at Tanaka Farms in Irvine.
The dinner, held Oct. 15, marked the launch of MaxLove Project’s Gold Apron Society, an exclusive community of chefs, restaurateurs and real-food advocates dedicated to raising funds for culinary medicine and cancer research. The inaugural 2015 dinner raised $35,000.
Chef members of the Gold Apron Society who cooked at the fundraiser dinner include several of O.C.’s most-celebrated culinary leaders: Chef Azmin Ghahreman of Sapphire Laguna; Chef Zov Karamardian of Zov’s Restaurants; Chef Greg Daniels of Haven Gastropub; Chef Michael Puglisi of Electric City Butcher; and Chef Cathy McKnight of Model Meals.
Thanks to the money raised at Farm to Fork, MaxLove Project will be able to lift phase one of the Culinary Medicine Center off of the ground, which involves creating the kitchen design and site plan at Tanaka Farms.
The Culinary Medicine Center will be a first in Orange County, where local chefs, doctors, nurses and the public will experience hands-on learning about the healing potential of fierce foods. MaxLove Project’s goal is to have one at every children’s hospital nationwide.
Funds will also support MaxLove Project’s existing essential thrivership programs, such as the Broth Bank, Fierce Foods Academy and Camp Make & Believe, a therapeutic arts program that helps to ease the anxiety and stress resulting from battling life-threatening illnesses.
Proceeds will also extend support cancer research at Barrow Neurological Institute in Arizona, and the initiation of the Ohana Project for Comprehensive Integrative Medicine helping kids fighting cancer.
Farm to Fork celebrated Guest of Honor Ruth McCarty, MS., L.AC, founder and director of Open Mind Modalities, and a specialist in Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture at Children’s Hospital of Orange County (CHOC). The “Gold Heart Award for Leadership in Family Thrivership” was presented to Christopher Gavigan, co-founder of The Honest Company.
MaxLove Project would like to thank all supporters and the following sponsors who helped achieve success: The Honest Company, Lily’s Sweets, Tanaka Farms, Sapphire Laguna, Recon Distribution, Merit Andrew, Terroir Life and Qupe Wines, Bonterra Organic Vineyards, Whole Foods Market Orange County, Snack IQ, Seaworth Coffee and Cloud b.