By Bonyen Lee of KCTV5, Child Protection Center Board Member | "Child protective what?" "You know, that government group for children in protective custody." As a journalist in Kansas City, I've heard these confusing references to Child Protection Center (for the record) when speaking with citizens and other reporters. It's been a beautiful challenge, as a board member alike, to broaden the organization's name recognition and awareness to the cause.
When the board asked - "how do we broaden our awareness in Kansas City and raise money for our programs?" we focused in on the traditions the city holds dear - BBQ and fellowship. Everyone has to eat right? Together, with some of the most creative culinary minds, we crafted up six chefs, one bridge and four celebrity judges (the fifth judge's seat will be auctioned off at the event).
I immediately approached my brother, Bonjwing Lee, who has built himself an influential name in a sport I like to call "restaurant'ing". He's written about and photographed food all the way to the top of the, er, food chain. He helped round up extraordinary homegrown talent including Celina Tio, Colby Garrelts, Howard Hanna, Patrick Ryan, Michael Corvino and Ryan Brazeal (DEEP BREATH!). The outpouring of generosity didn't stop there. THE Bean Baron, Danny O'Neill of The Roasterie, when asked to sit as a celebrity judge, didn't skip a beat, "Can I donate some coffee for the night?"
"Um, YEAH!" I replied.
Mixologist and the man behind Manifesto, Ryan Maybee joined with Dark Horse Distillery to create a Cook For Courage cocktail. Boulevard donated beer. Farmland ribbed us up. Jeremy Clay signed up as volunteer auctioneer. American BBQ Systems and OK Joe's donated rigs and Sasha's Baking Co.'s Carter Holton said, "yeah sure, desserts for 350? No problem."
The judging panel includes Bonjwing Lee, Danny O'Neill, Robb Heineman of Sporting Club, and former Chiefs quarterback Trent Green.
Ok, now I'm just name dropping.
Who is CPC now? We are a non-profit that helps children find a voice after abuse or witness to violence, a service that's not legally required but emotionally necessary in what can often be a trying investigatory process.
I'm truly touched to see the biggest names come forth for the future chefs, athletes, writers and business owners, if only we can help them heal into the "big boys and girls", of which every child dreams. Won't you join us May 18, on a bridge, which for me, symbolizes a path from yesterday to tomorrow.
For everyone else who has been part of the Cook For Courage team - a deeply heartfelt thanks for you commitment to community.
Cook For Courage
12th Street Bridge, Historic West Bottoms
VIP Pre-Party 5:00 - 6:00 PM
Main Event 6:00 - 8:30 PM
Tickets are available at cpckc.org/events!