Can you slide a cookie from your forehead into your mouth without using your hands?
Expect to witness such fetes of skill as a patron of A Caring Place Child Advocacy Center's ninth-annual dinner fundraiser set for March 22 at St. Florian Hall in Wintersville.
While A Caring Place traditionally had organized a mystery dinner theater show in past years, 2013 ushered in its hosting of a first-time "Minute To Win It" contest and offers a go-round at this sort of fundraiser again this year.
Iris Wilson, left photo, a member of Bonita’s Angels team that was among the competitors at the “Minute to Win It” fundraiser sponsored by a Caring Place Child Advocacy Center in Wintersville in 2013, balances dice on a toothpick with seeming ease. The unique fundraiser returns to the events calendar as A Caring Place welcomes patrons to the buffet dinner and contest on March 22 at St. Florian Hall. Doors open at 5 p.m. Tickets are $35 per person.
Among teams competing at the 2013 event were the Eliminators (The Ville team), Bonita’s Angels, Manfred’s and Team Toxic, which won the $500 grand prize.
Doors open at 5 p.m. with a cash bar followed by a buffet dinner at 6 p.m. served by Piergallini Catering.
Tickets are $35 per person with reservations due by Friday. Tickets are available online at Eventbrite; at www.ACaringPlaceCAC.org; by calling A Caring Place at (740) 266-3988; or by contacting any board member, including President Jean-Phillipe "J.P." Rigaud; Vice President Vicki DeLeonardis; secretary Ann Dulany; Treasurer Nate Roberts; Director/Advocate MaryAnn Donnelly; Janelle Clifton; Lisa Scott; Amy McDonnell; or Eileen Spencer.
Tickets will not be sold at the door for the event that also will include a Chinese auction and a 50-50 drawing.
"We've found 22 fearless competitors who are ready to put their skills to work," explained board officer Dulany, who is directing, producing and choreographing the "Minute To Win It."
"Join us at A Caring Place's annual fundraising dinner and watch as contestants jiggle and wiggle to complete crazy tasks using everyday household items," Dulany said. "Based on the popular 'Minute To Win It' game show, contestants have one minute to complete a challenge. Points are awarded for every challenge successfully completed within one minute. Four teams of five to six players have entered to win the $500 prize," she explained.
"The audience also will be given an opportunity to get involved in supporting the teams," Dulany said.
The teams and their members ready to compete for the $500 team prize are:
-- The Villeans (from the Ville Restaurant): Jason and Jessica Sturch, Shawn Dillon, Gianluca DiMichele, and Debbie and Melissa Smith;
-- All Star Ninjas (from Ambulance Service): Brandi Herceg, Jim Bonar, Courtney Sanders, Josh Leasure, and Carlos and Robin Sanders;
-- Team Toxic (from Children's Services): Michelle Kuczynski, Jen Yasho, Nicole Cook, Patty Janjua and Kristal Singleton; and
-- McDonnell Chiropractic: Dr. Greg McDonnell, Amy McDonnell, Dr. Keith Zrinyi, Hillari Baccus, Taylor Schrickel and Patricia Simpson.
Rob's T-shirts will again donate T-shirts for the teams.
Proceeds from the fundraiser will benefit A Caring Place Child Advocacy Center located on Canton Road in Wintersville. Established in 2002, it is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization where children of physical and sexual abuse and their families are provided confidential and supportive services such as interviewing and medical examinations in a home-like environment.
Last year, more than 60 children were helped through the center.
"It's an important thing for victimization," Donnelly said of the center in a previous interview promoting the 2013 fundraiser. "It's a place where they can come and feel comfortable. It's very confidential, private, only one client comes at a time to the center so they get our full attention. They are interviewed, and it is videotaped. If they need to hear the interview again, they can listen to the videotape. We also do medical exams for child sexual abuse cases here with Dr. Stephen Mascio so they don't have to go to a hospital and sit in an emergency room," Donnelly said. All of A Caring Place's services are free, according to Donnelly. "We do some prevention programs to try to help stop child abuse from happening, too, and we work in conjunction with the multidisciplinary team which is all the agencies that work with child abuse and neglect so that we're all on the same page in trying to help the client," she added.
A member agency of the United Way of Jefferson County, it runs on grants, donations and fundraisers.
Rigaud explained that A Caring Place expanded its services to the community of Steubenville by hiring Eileen Spencer as a part-time employee.
"She was recently hired as the prevention educator with A Caring Place Child Advocacy Center of Jefferson County, focusing on providing education and information on domestic minor human trafficking," Rigaud said of Spencer. "This was made possible through a grant from the Ohio Network of Child Advocacy Centers funded by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services. As a result of Gov. John Kasich's task force report and the recommendations made within, Ohio Department of Job and Family Services along with child advocacy centers will coordinate efforts to identify a provider network which would be an appropriate first response for serving minor victims of human trafficking," Rigaud said.
A resident of Steubenville, Spencer has attended trainings given by the National Center for Prosecution of Child Abuse and Human Trafficking Programs, the National District Attorneys Association, the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services as well as the Ohio Network of Children's Advocacy Centers.
Spencer received a bachelor's of science degree in mental health and human services at Franciscan University of Steubenville. After earning her degree, she worked at Northern/Southwest Communities MH/MR, a mental health facility in Pittsburgh. She also previously worked at the AIM Women's Center as director of client services, providing education and services to the local community. Additionally, she has volunteered as a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) at A Child's Place CASA for Brooke and Hancock counties in representing abused and neglected children.
Organizers of the upcoming fundraiser said they hope to raise more than $20,000.