United Way fundraising season heats up with Top Chef competition

The United Way’s fundraising season got a delicious start with a local celebrity cookoff at the Rotary Log Pavilion in Aberdeen Thursday, raising about $3,000 for local charities.

“It was wonderful, people were just having a great time,” said new Executive Director Nora LeBlanc. “We had a nice attendance, the chefs worked so hard and the food was delicious. It was a great time for everyone and a great time to get everyone excited about the new United Way year.”

Aberdeen Mayor Bill Simpson and Randy Dennis of The Dennis Co. both won the honor of Top Chef, chosen by the audience. Grays Harbor County Sheriff Rick Scott, Phil Luce from Grays Harbor Radio and Rhys Davis and assistant Johnny Manson from Jodesha Broadcasting also prepared dishes for the audience to sample.

“They were all winners, at least as far as I was concerned. It was hard to choose,” LeBlanc said.

The Lucky Eagle Casino provided side dishes and staff to help serve about 75 people who attended.

“We were really grateful to the Lucky Eagle to help sponsor,” LeBlanc said.

The goal for the fall fundraising campaign this year is $411,000.

“It’s really about now that we’re going to be talking with agencies and businesses and doing workplace campaigns. We’ve got a lot of volunteers who are pretty excited to get going,” she said.

“I was so excited by the people who were coming up to me saying, ‘I’d really like to help.’ That’s very exciting to me to have so many people in the community invested in making this community strong,” LeBlanc added. “This is a community that comes together, and when they believe in something they get things done.”

For more information or to make a donation, contact the Aberdeen United Way office at 360-532-6260.