Parade of Chefs makes a Royal return, raising $192,000 in support of CKHA

Following a three-year hiatus, Chatham-Kent Health Alliance Foundation’s (CKHAF) 18th Annual Parade of Chefs, presented by Precise ParkLink, made its triumphant return on Thursday, September 28, 2023. For one magical night, The Chatham Armoury was transformed into the RBC Royal Palace, playing host to 350 honoured guests who were treated to A Royal Affair with Local Flair. This evening of elegance raised a total of $192,000, with proceeds to support the purchase of much-needed equipment for Chatham-Kent Health Alliance (CKHA).

The Celebrity Host for the evening, sponsored by TD, was Chef Darren McGrady, who previously served as the personal chef for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, Diana, Princess of Wales, and Princes William and Harry for fifteen years. Chef McGrady captivated the crowd with an array of firsthand stories, insights and anecdotes about his time spent with the royal family, while also curating the evening’s five-course royal menu.

The evening also featured a distinctly local flavour, with each course prepared by chefs from different local restaurants, made from locally-sourced ingredients, and paired with a wide variety of beverages donated by local wineries, breweries, and distilleries.

“There are so many people and organizations that had a hand in the success of this year’s event, including our sponsors and guests, our local chefs, restaurants and in-kind vendors, our auction donors, and of course the countless volunteers who helped to pull it all together,” stated Christine Colautti, CKHAF President and CEO. “It truly takes a village for events like this to come to life and have such a positive impact on our community, and we were blessed to have the support of so many community leaders who stepped up and helped make it happen.”

Proceeds from the event will support the purchase of an ORTHO VISION – Swift Analyzer for the Laboratory Transfusion Medicine Department at CKHA. This crucial piece of equipment will help automate a wide variety of blood tests, allowing the lab to provide safe and compatible blood for patients more efficiently, while reducing turnaround times for these important tests.

“I was delighted to see this event return for the first time since 2019, and to witness firsthand the generosity of this wonderful community,” said Lori Marshall, President and CEO of CKHA. “The Emergency Department, Obstetrics, Surgical Department, Operating Room, Ambulatory Care, and the Oncology/Cancer Clinic are among the areas most reliant on Transfusion Medicine services, so the strong support that this event received will have a significant impact on many local patients, when they need it the most.”

This Royal Affair was made possible by the support of many corporate partner organizations, including Precise ParkLink, who reprised their role as Presenting Sponsor for the event. Other key partners included the event’s Royal Palace Sponsor, RBC Royal Bank, its Celebrity Host Sponsor, TD, and the sponsor for His Majesty’s VIP reception, Apollo Property Management & Development.

The evening was also enabled by the dedication and commitment of the 2023 Parade of Chefs Planning Committee, Chaired by Karen Ewald. The committee was comprised of volunteers from across the community, each of whom played a key role in organizing and elevating the event into a one-of-a-kind experience.

“Through events like this, the generous support of our community partners, donors and volunteers has a major impact on local patients and their families, and without that support, our Foundation simply wouldn’t be where it is today,” stated Bob Hockney, Chair of the CKHAF Board of Directors. “Patients really are at the center of everything we do, and because of the support that we receive day in and day out, we continue to be able to do so much more.”

Through events like Parade of Chefs and other philanthropic initiatives, CKHAF links our community with its local hospital, raising funds to invest in equipment renewal, program innovation, and modern facility upgrades to enable world-class healthcare in Chatham-Kent.