Region’s best chefs step up to help teens at ‘Cooking Up Hope’ benefit

NAPERVILLE – Chefs from 12 great Chicagoland restaurants and a local independent grocer volunteered their talents for a chef’s tasting Sunday, Oct. 2, at Naperville Country Club. Proceeds from the event, which drew more than 200 people, will help area teens get addiction treatment at Rosecrance in Rockford.

This was the second year for Cooking Up Hope, which last year raised more than $40,000 to help families in need of financial assistance for treatment expenses. The Rosecrance Foundation every year provides an estimated $350,000 in charity care to families who do not have insurance or personal resources to pay for treatment.

Restaurants and businesses participating in Cooking Up Hope, a fundraiser for The Rosecrance Foundation, were, in alphabetical order: Casey’s Foods; Hugo’s Frog Bar & Fish House; Hyatt Lodge at McDonald’s Campus; Hyatt Regency Chicago; Ivy; Kuma’s Asian Bistro; Labriola Bakery Café; Naperville Country Club; SugarToad; Tasso’s Greek Cuisine; Vie; Yerbabuena Mexican Cuisine; and Zak’s Place.

Eight of the 12 participating restaurants were part of the event last year.

“We are so grateful to these chefs for giving their time to help teens in trouble,” said Philip W. Eaton, President/CEO of Rosecrance. “We couldn’t do this event without them, and it is so gratifying that they believe in this cause. They graciously share their time and talent because they realize that the event is all about hope for families.”

Almost 65 percent of the people who receive inpatient treatment at Rosecrance come from Chicago and the collar counties, Eaton said. That number has steadily increased in recent years. So has the number of families in need of financial assistance for treatment.

“We are grateful, too, to all the people who sponsored this event and purchased tickets,” Eaton said. “By doing so, they are changing and saving the lives of people who live in their own communities.”

Guests had the opportunity to chat with the chefs as each one prepared a dish on the spot. The event featured a silent auction, along with remarks by celebrity emcee David “Kap” Kaplan and others about Rosecrance’s important work in the field of addiction treatment.

Cooking Up Hope was established in 2010 by the Rosecrance Foundation’s Chicago Board, whose members live in Chicago and the suburbs. Kaplan, the voice of sports in Chicago, serves on the board. Kaplan’s work has been featured on WGN, in the Chicago Tribune and on Comcast SportsNet, ESPN, Cablevision SportsChannel, and other media venues.

Rosecrance is the largest provider of inpatient adolescent drug treatment in the state of Illinois. The organization also offers addiction treatment for adults and recovery homes for teens and adults.

The organization offers free screenings and assessments at five satellite offices in the Chicago area. Those sites are in Naperville, Lincoln Park, Northfield, Frankfort and Geneva. In addition, Rosecrance offers an intensive outpatient program for adolescents at the Frankfort location. Rosecrance frequently sponsors workshops and prevention and early intervention classes in the Chicago area.