Dining with the Local Stars announces ticket sales, judges and host

The Rotary Club of Three Creeks continues to announce news about its annual fundraiser, this year Dining with the Local Stars, presented by Taylor Transport, due to a pandemic pivot away from Dancing with the Local Stars.

Tickets to the virtual event – a 90-minute streamed program of nine local stars participating in a competitive cooking show a la the Food Network show “Chopped” – are on sale now, on Eventbrite.

A link to ticket sales has been posted on the event website – www.dancingwiththelocalstars.com – starting on Monday at 8 a.m. Tickets are $25 for general admission and $75 for a VIP package that includes the same mystery ingredients the local stars will cook with, as well as a few other goodies.

The club also announced it has selected John McDonagh, president & chief executive officer of the Greater Vancouver Chamber of Commerce, as its host and emcee for Dining with the Local Stars.

Finally, the club shared its judging panel – those who will actually put the local stars’ food creations in their mouths – will be Chef Aaron Guerra (who is also serving as the culinary consultant to DWTLS), Scot Brantley (Immediate Past President of the Rotary Club of Three Creeks) and Brad Wager (owner of Wager Audio). A fourth judge, a representative of Taylor Transport, will be added to the panel as well.

“We are so excited about this fresh fundraiser idea,” said Kelley Campbell, the 2020-21 president of the Rotary Club of Three Creeks. “The lineup of local stars we have, not only in our chefs cast, but also in our judging panel and host role, is top notch.

“Most nonprofits do an auction, or a gala, and true to our club’s personality, we’re thinking outside the box and trying something different,” Campbell said. “So far, it’s been really well received by everyone we’ve talked to about it, and we cannot wait for the event to be shown online!”

Nine local stars – Albert Angelo III (Al Angelo Co.), Julie Arenz (iQ Credit Union), Tamara Fuller (Capacity Commercial Group), Tommy Gaynor (Gaynors Automotive), Ryan Hart (Port of Vancouver USA), Nelson Holmberg (NW Natural & the Rotary Club of Three Creeks), Ryan Makinster (Building Industry Association of Clark County), Tom Markos (Thomas J. Markos Inspection & Consulting) and Linda Reid (Columbia Bank) make up the cast for the 2021 fundraiser.

Each celebrity chef will raise funds for the Rotary Club and the contestant who raises the most money will be crowned Grand Champion. Judges will determine the winner of the best chef, based on a broad criterion that include use of the mystery baskets.

Dining with the Local Stars sponsors include Taylor Transport, Inc., Chappelle’s Towing, PLS Engineering, Gaynors Automotive, NW Natural, Nutter Corporation, Pivotal Painting LLC, Insure North America Benefits Group, Specialty Graphic Solutions, Shine Distillery & Grill, iQ Credit Union, Opsahl Dawson CPAs, Otak, Banner Bank, Kate Singh Photography Studio, Ink Ability, Greater Vancouver Chamber of Commerce, Clark County Today and The Columbian.

In 2020, Dancing with the Local Stars raised more than $40,000, and the Three Creeks club was able to award three $7,000 grants – one each to the North County Community Food Bank, Clark County Food Bank and FISH of Vancouver. Three Creeks provided $1,000 to LULAC of Clark County to help stand up a Farmers Market. The club has also made several smaller grants to nonprofits in the community – including the purchase of 50 new stuffed animals to donate to children in the pediatric unit at Legacy Salmon Creek Medical Center just before Christmas.

In three Dancing with the Local Stars events, the Rotary Club has raised more than $60,000. The club has distributed more than $40,000 to community nonprofits over the three years.

Money raised from Dining with the Local Stars, the club’s major fundraiser, allows the club to make meaningful donations across the community, in particular to nonprofits that help children, veterans, hungry and homeless. Details of the Charitable Giving program are on the club’s website at https://www.rotaryofthreecreeks.com/charitable-giving.html.

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Joanna Yorke is the managing editor of the Vancouver Business Journal. She has worked in the journalism field since 2010 after graduating from the Edward R. Murrow College of Communication at Washington State University in Pullman. Yorke worked at The Reflector Newspaper in Battle Ground for six years and then worked at and helped start ClarkCountyToday.com.