The Heat is On! Firing Up A Friendly Fundraiser


By Karen J. Jarvis

Stan Morgan and Tom Kenny are dedicated cooks and volunteers who provide dinner at the SECU Family House twice a month. Now they are embroiled in a heated competition with other “Men Who Cook,” trying to bring home a trophy for themselves and raise money for the Family House in the process.

“Normally, we cook for 40-50 guests at the Family House, but this is more of a challenge for over 300 people,” said Morgan. “It’s a great cause and to know that we are helping raise money for those folks who are in need the most, it just warms our hearts. Of course, we do want to win, so please come out and vote for us!”

The second annual Men Who Cook competition showcases the talents of amateur chefs as the Family House hosts its popular fundraiser on March 18 at Bridger Field House in Winston-Salem. About 325 partygoers will taste savory samples crafted by the male chefs and vote for their favorite ones through tips. Last year’s inaugural event was a huge success, netting more than $100,000.

“This is such an exciting event bringing families together over food, and truly represents the togetherness, hospitality and love we provide at the Family House,” said Kathy Carr, executive director of SECU Family House. The 45-room Family House is an affordable alternative to a hospital waiting room or an expensive hotel for people coming to Winston-Salem for out-of-town medical care. It has hosted folks from 92 North Carolina counties and 36 states, and has served more than 22,000 overnight guests since opening in 2011.

“The Family House is sunshine, an inextinguishable beacon of light that still inspires and comforts us. If every community could have a Family House, we could burn away the fog of a million difficult days,” said Krisha and Cam, from California. If guests are unable to pay the nominal overnight fee, a Family House assistance fund is available, thanks to donations and events like Men Who Cook.

Men Who Cook chefs create their own recipes and are allowed a sous chef during the evening. Four judges’ prizes and a people’s choice will be awarded to winning chefs. This year’s delectable dishes include Bora Bora Pineapple Upside Down Cake, Pork Carnitas Tacos, Lasagna, Paella, and Tomato Soup with Smoked Venison Meatballs and Israeli Couscous.

Amateur chefs slated to whip up their favorite dishes include former Wake coach Bill Faircloth and WSSU Football coach, Kienus Boulware, Winston-Salem Fire Chief, Trey Mayo, Winston-Salem Police Chief, Barry Rountree, along with Mayor Allen Joines. A full list of chefs is available online at, as well as an opportunity to vote for your favorite one.

Karen Jarvis is a public relations consultant and writer based in Lewisville N.C. She currently volunteers on the Family House Donor and Community Relations Committee.

Wooden Spoon sponsorships are available for $250, which include two reservations and a listing in the souvenir program. Event reservations are $55 for one or two for $105. Contact Ainsley Darnell at the SECU Family House at 336-793-2822, or


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