New York City


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On Tuesday, October 22, the enCourage Kids Foundation hosted their Serving Up Smiles premier tasting event with over 300 plus guests at CURRENT in Chelsea Piers. Everybody enjoyeddecadent plates from the hottest chefs and top named restaurants in NYC, world-class wines, cocktails and music by Live Wire Entertainment. The Purple Carpet was packed with celebrity chefs, athletes such as John Starks (Former NY Knicks All-Star), Brent QVale (NY Jets Offensive Tackle), Tony Richardson (NFL Legend & Sports Commentator), Luke Petitgout(Former NY Giants Offensive Tackle) and actors Frankie Smith (Roots/Black & Blue), Suzzanne Douglas (Actress) and DeeMo (Actor/Singer/Songwriter), to name a few. Scott Stanford(Sports/News Anchor) was the emcee for the evening joined by culinary chair Ralph Scamardella, Chef & Partner TAO Group.

“I am so grateful for the tremendous turnout we had for our Serving Up Smiles event. The generosity and support of the restaurants, chefs, sponsors, athletes, celebrities and all of the attendees, was just incredible,” said Michele Hall Duncan, enCourage Kids Foundation President & CEO. “The funds raised from this event will help serve thousands of sick children across the country.”

“Many thanks to all who supported our Serving Up Smiles event. Special thanks to our emcee, Scott Stanford who did a fantastic job helping us raise funds to support our programs dedicated to helping humanize healthcare for our kids and their families! A truly special and very rewarding evening with delicious food,” stated Joe Wessely, Foundation Board Chair enCourage Kids.

Participating restaurants and chefs included BAGATELLE (Guillaume Ginther, Executive Chef), BEAUTY & ESSEX (Jamie Sudberg, Executive Pastry Chef), BEN & JACK’S STEAKHOUSE(Admir Alibasic, Executive Chef), BRYANT PARK GRILL (Anne-Marie Noonan, Pastry Chef), BUTTER (Michael Jenkins, Chef de Cuisine), DANNY MACAROONS (Dan Cohen, Baker), HOTELCHOCOLAT, LAMIA’S FISH MARKET (Lamia Funti, Executive Chef & Owner), LEGASEA (Jason Hall, Executive Chef), OCEAN PRIME (Eugenio Reyes, Executive Chef), OSTERIA MORINI(Andrew Minitelli, Chef de Cuisine), ROBERT (Gonzalo Colin, Executive Chef) SERENDIPITY 3, SFOGLIA (Melisa Panchano, Executive Chef) and TAO GROUP (Ralph Scamardella, Chef & Partner).

About enCourage Kids Foundation                                                                                                            Since 1985, enCourage Kids Foundation has helped humanize healthcare for children and their families by resourcing impact-driven pediatric programs and supporting the Child Life Community. Serving more than one million children annually, enCourage Kids is focused on making hospitals a better place to get better. Our programs offer relief from the constant burden of treatment, hospital stays, and doctor appointments, while also helping pediatric facilities to meet the unique needs of their patients. enCourage Kids Foundation envisions a world where every child–regardless of the difficulty of his or her medical journey—experiences joy, hope, resilience, and healing.

About Michele Hall Duncan – President & CEO enCourage Kids Foundation                                                                                                     As President & CEO, Michele’s expertise in the nonprofit and development space, leads the organization in developing varied Programs and overseeing the growth of the Pediatric Hospital Support Program. The relationships she has fostered over the years with Child Life staff and all levels of hospital administration, have helped her to develop an integral understanding of their needs and has helped position the organization to be on the forefront of state-of-the-art programming.

Michele is a Trustee of the Children’s Specialized Hospital Foundation where she serves as board Secretary and chair of the governance committee. She also serves on the Advisory Board of one of the nation’s leading anti-bullying organizations, STOMP Out BullyingTM, and is a board member of the New York City chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals where she also serves on the Professional Advancement Committee. A native of Flint, Michigan, Michele is a proud graduate of Michigan State University (go Spartans!!) with a B.A. in Advertising and has been an active associate member of the Essex Hudson Chapter of Jack and Jill of America, Inc. for 10 years. Recently, Actress Shannon Elizabeth has joined Michele and the enCourage Kids Foundation as an Ambassador. Michele has been featured in publications such as Authority, Medium, Thrive Global, Social Lifestyle, Industry Rules, Times Square Chronicles, Resident and networks such as ABC, CBS, FOX and Spectrum1, to name a few.

It’s never too late to make a donation and support the enCourage Kids Foundation. It’s for the kids!

You can also follow the great work of Michele and her team and keep up with the latest happenings:

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