The JESPY Battle of the Chefs at Orange Lawn was a huge success

From JESPY House in South Orange, NJ:

Thursday, June 23In South Orange, the Orange Lawn Tennis Club was bustling with JESPY House fans, clients, board members and foodies. Everyone was there to attend Chefs Battle: Benefit for JESPY House.

The event raised funds to support JESPY’s programs and mission to help its clients, adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities 18 years of age or older, lead full, independent lives.

The competing chefs who turned Orange Lawn into a culinary playground are Chef Evan of Orange Lawn Tennis and Chef Tony of Edgewood Country Club.

Before the event started, the chefs shared their reasons for participating in the competition. Chef Evan shared: “I have someone close to me who has a disability.” “So I know the importance of showing you care and doing everything you can to help others.”

“I believe in giving back,” Chef Tony added. “It makes no sense for me to do my part. This event is a pleasure to be involved in.”

Each of the distinguished chefs created hour-long cocktail appetizers and delicious dinner entrees that they were judged on. Guest judges included Samantha Pinto, executive chef and owner of The Order, David Masoni, owner of The Fox & Falcon, and John Zerriga, manager of Miti Miti – all located in South Orange.

Chef Evan was the winning chef, receiving a gift certificate to Kitchen a la Mode, a kitchen supplies and home goods establishment in Southern Orange.

In addition to serving great meals, Chef’s Battle Honoring Three JESPY Families – The Cottingham Family; The Oppenheimer family and the Plotnik family. Each family’s clients – Passion C., Dawn O. and Andrew P. – have found their independence in JESPY through recruitment, advocacy, friendships with others and active participation in JESPY programmes. During acceptance letters, clients shared their experiences of developing self-awareness and building confidence while at JESPY. Each family was awarded a beautifully engraved glass plaque.

The successful feature, which raised over $300,000, included a one-of-a-kind silent auction that included exclusive concert tickets, experience packages, restaurant certificates, flower arrangements, personalized artwork, jewelry, and more.

“I am really excited about the success of this event,” said Audrey Winkler, CEO of JESPY. “We are so grateful for the support of JESPY clients that we can also continue to provide programs and services. I am also proud to honor our clients and their personal development while at JESPY. I know that they and all of our clients will continue to do great things while working for their independence.”

JESPY provides support in the areas of clinical and behavioral health, housing options, athletics and fitness, recreation, daily living skills, and employment. visit Learn more about JESPY House programs.

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Aerial photos are proficient in photography.

Chef Evan (left) and Chef Tony (right) have a long standing working relationship, with Tony mentoring Evan for many years.

JESPY Client Honors Dawn O., Passion C., and Andrew P.

Shelse Jenkins (left), JESPY Day Administrator poses with the Cottingham family and JESPY Executive Director Audrey Winkler.

JESPY Clinical / Behavioral Support Supervisor Cherie Scotchi Hamilton (left) poses with the Plotnik family and JESPY CEO Audrey Winkler.

JESPY Direct Support Professional Rabia El-Hamyani (left) is shown here with the Oppenheimer family and JESPY CEO Audrey Winkler.

Chef Evan from Orange Lawn Tennis Club was the winning chef.

John Zerriga, manager of Miti Miti, Samantha Pinto, executive chef and owner of The Order, and David Masoni, owner of The Fox & Falcon, were the guest judges.

At Edgewood Country Club, Chef Tony of Edgewood Country Club has created delicious dishes, too.

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