Community members gathered in the Statler Ballroom Sunday to benefit the Windows of Hope Family Relief Fund, donating approximately $25,000 to support members of the hospitality industry and their families affected by the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
Students, faculty and residents of the greater Ithaca area donated a minimum of $100 to make reservations at the benefit dinner, which featured seven local chefs, seven courses and seven silent auctions.
Everything used to produce the event was donated, allowing 100 percent of event proceeds to be donated to Windows of Hope, according to Cynthia Wild, director of sales and marketing for the Statler Hotel.
Both Wild and student participant Sajan Hansji ’04 deemed the event a success.
“We were shooting for 150 reservations and we maxed out with 154 after two weeks,” Wild said.
Established by restaurant owners and chefs, the fund is designed to especially provide aid to the “hospitality workers lost who don’t have pensions, who may live from paycheck to paycheck, and for their families,” Wild said.
The meal included signature dishes from the Windows on the World Restaurant, which was located in the World Trade Center. According to Wild, it was Statler Executive Chef Craig Hartman who “pulled it all together.”
Hartman was responsible for one of the courses of the meal. In addition, he donated a personalized cooking class for the silent auction.
“When tragedy strikes, it’s human nature to want to help those in need by providing the basics, like food and shelter,” Hartman said in a press release last week.
Students in the School of Hotel Administration also took on various tasks to market and prepare for the event, according to Wild.
Anthony Schaefer ’03, a pastry chef for the Statler Hotel and Banfi’s Restaurant, was among the featured chefs organizing one of the courses of the meal.
“It was an honor for me. It was great to be a part of it,” Schaefer said.
Wild noted that students were involved in promoting the event as well.
“My sales students helped with publicity and other students volunteered to prepare, to be part of the waitstaff team, to manage the cocktail hour