“Chef” Tommy Gaynor raises most money, sweeps awards
When the Rotary Club of Three Creeks was forced to pivot its annual fundraiser away from the in-person Dancing with the Local Stars to a virtual Dining with the Local Stars, presented by Taylor Transport event due to the Covid-19 pandemic, no one was quite sure what to expect.
“Our conservative goal was to net $12,000 in funds that we could contribute to the community,” said fundraising committee chair Susanne Holmberg. “What we did was amazing! The sponsors who stepped up made a huge difference in covering the cost of the production of the event.”
The nine local stars who participated in the fundraiser collected $50,000 in net proceeds for the Rotary Club of Three Creeks’ community giving program.
The $50,000 bottom line is more than the previous record of nearly $43,000 set last year with Dancing with the Local Stars, held at ilani Casino Resort. It was the last major fundraiser held in person prior to the shutdowns caused by the pandemic.
“Yet again, the SW WA community stepped up and embraced our club’s efforts to make a difference in the community,” said Club President Kelley Campbell. “From the celebrity chef volunteers and business sponsors, to those who bought tickets and donated to their favorite chef, it was another example of the generosity of those who live and work in this region.”
Tommy Gaynor, of Gaynor’s Automotive, raised the most money, himself bringing in more than $14,000 to be crowned grand champion of Dining with the Local Stars. His cooking, too – despite comedic distractions from fellow celebrity chef Albert Angelo III – won over the judges and Gaynor also took home the Best Chef award for the event.
“This event was so much fun to be a part of,” Gaynor said. “And that we were able to raise so much money to allow this Rotary club to help kids, veterans, hungry and homeless in our community is a really big deal.”
Dining with the Local Stars, presented by Taylor Transport, was produced by the club, but the video recording and production was done by Vancouver’s Wager Audio. The cooking segment was recorded at Vancouver’s Second Mile Marketplace and Food Hub. The virtual event was streamed to a paid audience over the Remo platform, provided by the Greater Vancouver Chamber of Commerce. All event photography was shot by Vancouver’s Kate Singh.
This year’s Local Stars included Albert Angelo III, Juile Arenz, Tamara Fuller, Gaynor, Ryan Hart, Nelson Holmberg, Ryan Makinster, Tom Markos and Linda Reid.
The show can be seen in its entirety by viewing on the club’s YouTube channel. The direct link to the show is here (https://youtu.be/4wipP4ii438).