The Tallmadge Lions Club raised more than $4,000 at its second Celebrity Chefs Gala Feb. 1 at Roses Run in Stow.
Last year's inaugural event brought in more than $3,000 to contribute to Lions Club projects.
"It may have been damp and chilly outside, but it was warm and inviting inside as 15 local celebrities prepared and served some of their specialties to a hungry and appreciative crowd," said Tallmadge Lions Club President the Rev. Timothy Ream, who served as emcee again for this year's event and competition.
This year's winner, Carol Martin of Carol Martin Salon Spa, served up a Mashed Potato Bar.
Ream said the voting was tough for those in attendance, who selected their favorite chef by placing a paper ballot in a chef's hat placed by each serving station.
Chef Martin beat out Mayor Dave Kline's Ham and Cheese Sliders; Tallmadge City Council member Kim Ray's Hobo Supper with Cornbread; Dr. David Elliott's Antelope Stew; Tallmadge Postmaster Martha Dalton's Assorted Salads; Larry Bagnoli of Donovan Bagnoli Funeral Home's Italian Sausage Sandwiches; Autumn Johnson "The Pierogi Lady's" Pierogies; Summit County Council member Jerry Feeman's Pulled Pork Sandwiches; Tallmadge High School Assistant Principal Mike Householder's Chicken Marsala; City Law Director Megan Raber's Tropical Shrimp Bites; Dr. Gerald Sisko's Green Chili; Greg Stricker of Cupcake Binge's Mini Gourmet Cupcakes; Tallmadge City School Superintendent Jeff Ferguson's Just Chili; and Our Daily Bread's Susan Littell and Ron Hart's Butter Bit Biscuits and Assorted Brownies.
In addition to the tempting entrees, salads and desserts, guests enjoyed 16 wine raffles and the opportunity to bid on more than 60 gift baskets and certificates during the silent auction. According to Lions committee members Stephanie Hixon, Pam Ream and Paula Victor, "The amount of support, and the variety and value of the donated gifts we received was a little overwhelming. We really don't know how to say thank you enough!"
According to Ream, the successful evening will allow Tallmadge Lions to expand their services.
Simply put, said Ream, "When it comes to meeting challenges, our response is simple: We serve."
Tallmadge Lions provide free early childhood eye and vision screenings locally by partnering with the Greater Akron Lions Eye Care Program; regionally by partnering with the St. Vincent Charity Hospital Eye Clinic; and globally, in 207 countries performing volunteer work, helping, leading, planning and supporting hospitals and senior centers in regions battered by natural disaster and in schools and eyeglass recycling centers.
"Because we're local, we can serve the unique needs of the communities we live in. And because we're global, we can address challenges that go beyond borders," added Ream.
There are many ways to get involved when someone joins the Lions, including community projects, group volunteer opportunities, becoming a host family, community disaster preparedness, diabetes awareness and global health programs.
To get involved with the Tallmadge Lions Club, make a reservation to attend a meeting (February's are on the 12 and 26) at 6:30 p.m. at Lions Hall inside Lion's Park off of Northeast Avenue by calling 330-285-8066, or visit the Club's website at http://e-clubhouse.org/sites/tallmadgeoh/.