By Barbara M. Houle
Abby’s House Spring-Tacular fundraiser is a seven-day virtual celebration that begins next month, guaranteed to bring plenty of fun surprises.
This year’s 8th Spring-Tacular is presented by the Counseling & Assessment Clinic of Worcester LLC. The event reconnects Abby’s House with local restaurants and businesses, “lighting the way for safety, healing and new beginnings for 45 years,” according to Colleen McGoldrick, development and communications specialist at Abby’s House.
The virtual celebration and online auction begin May 7, closing on May 13 with a virtual program at 6:30 p.m. Visit www.abbyshouse.org for more info and updates.
“In previous years, the annual Spring-Tacular fundraiser has been an evening where staff, volunteers, sponsors and supporters gather in-person and sample delicious food and beverage tastings from area businesses and restaurants, bid on items in a silent auction and listen to the ways in which their generosity lifts up the women of Abby’s House,” said McGoldrick. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Abby’s House pivoted last year’s event to be virtual, keeping elements of the evening alive by featuring an online auction and virtual speaking program, allowing for safe participation from the community.
“During this year’s event, Abby’s House will once again feature an online auction and virtual speaking program, but wanted a way to honor the local businesses and restaurants who were so important to the in-person event, and who have faced many challenges throughout the last year,” added McGoldrick.
To highlight some of the restaurants and to further engage with the Abby’s House community, “Celebration Treat Boxes” will be available to the first 200 Spring-Tacular donors who make a gift of $100 or more by May 6. Qualifying donors will be contacted by Abby’s House to arrange pick-up time for the boxes on May 13. Donate on the Abby’s House website.
Vendors who have generously offered products and coupon deals for the treat boxes: Worcester: Chef/owner Elizabeth Casey of On the Rise Baking in Worcester, one of the bakery’s popular cupcakes; chef Leslie Lofgren, owner of Deliah Handmade Chocolates (online site soon to be launched), a chocolate turtle: Chef/owner Casey Griswold of European Bakery & Pastry, signature sour cream cookies; the Culinary Arts Department at Worcester Technical High School, scratch made cupcake; Maura Stevens, Food and Nutrition Services Manager at Abby’s House, granola with dried fruit and nuts. Also, Anthony Surabian, owner of Froze Zone in West Boylston, offers a coupon for one free small gelato; co-owners Albie Alvarez-Cote and chef Roy Caceser of Che! Empanada in Worcester, coupon for empanada three-pack. Oriola Koci and chef Enton Mehillaj, owners of Altea’s Eatery and Livia’s Dish in Worcester, plan to offer a drink special the week of Spring-Tacular, donating $2 from each sale of the drink to Abby’s House. More info to be announced.
“We are excited to have an opportunity for local restaurants to be part of our virtual Spring-Tacular this year,” said Stephanie Page, executive director of Abby’s House. “Our local restaurants have been an important part of Spring-Tacular’s success since its beginning. We had a great response from new restaurants who wanted to join in on this year’s celebration. They have donated items to the online auction. It is our hope that people will celebrate Abby’s House during Spring-Tacular while enjoying treat boxes or bidding on an auction item, and also value our restaurants and their generosity to help women and children in need, especially during a difficult pandemic.”
FYI: Abby’s House has set a goal to raise $100,000 to support increased need for shelter, housing and advocacy programs for women and children at Abby’s House. To help reach its goal, an anonymous donor has proposed a “giving challenge.” From now through May 13, all Spring-Tacular designated donations will be matched dollar for dollar up to $25,000, according to Abby’s House.
Your gift definitely will make an impact.
Castle open for patio dining
The Castle Restaurant in Leicester is open for patio dining overlooking Lake Sargent (weather permitting), in addition to limited and distanced seating in three inside dining rooms.
Spring hours: 4 to 8 p.m. Friday; noon to 8 p.m. Saturday; 2 to 8 p.m. Sunday. Closed Monday through Thursday. Reservations, call (508) 892-9090; visit www.castlerestaurant.com.
The restaurant has scheduled a wine tasting event, “Old wines of the Rhone Valley,” at 1 p.m. April 25. Limited seating is available. Call or send email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
‘Spring Picnic’ wine tasting
The Vin Bin in Marlboro has scheduled a virtual wine tasting (Episode 9) “Spring Picnic” at 5 p.m. April 30.
Join Aaron Aykanian, Vin Bin Wine Specialist, for this tasting, paired with cheeses that help bring this stay-at-home event to another level.
The virtual tasting will benefit the music program at Marlboro Public Schools, with the Vin Bin donating $10 from each bundle purchased to the MPSMA. The bundle will include: 1 bottle 2019 Carmel Road Chardonnay Monterey County; 1 bottle 2019 Domaine de Maubet Rose Cotes de Gasconge; 1 bottle 2010 Copertino Reserva Rosso Puglia; ¼ pound Cotswold Cheese, Great Britain; ¼ pound Drunken Goat Cheese, Spain; 1 bar locally crafted dark chocolate bar; 1 box gourmet crackers; 1 jar Divina Olives. Cost is $75. All bundles will be available for in-store pickup April 29. Delivery available, fees may apply. Visit www.thevinbin.com to order.
“The Vin Bin is committed to the well-being of our communities, and we are pleased to help the Marlboro Public Schools Music Association raise funds to support the programs and missions of the students and faculty,” said Vin Bin owner Rick Lombardi. “As traditional fundraising efforts are impacted by COVID restrictions, events such as these will go a long way in keeping the programs active,” he said.
Peppers offers weekend dinner takeout
Weekend Dinner Takeout, April 23-24, is available from Peppers Artful Events in Northboro, with April 22 as deadline for online ordering.
Visit www.peppersartfulevents.com for more info. Food pickup will be from 3 to 5 p.m. April 23; 10 a.m. to noon, April 24 at Peppers.
Menu options: Starters: Spinach and Feta Filo Pastries (two per order); Lemon Garlic Shrimp Skewer (two per order)’ Entrée options: Grilled Polenta Cake, served with sautéed artichokes, shitake mushrooms, blistered grape tomatoes and pesto cream sauce; Chicken Shawarma, with warm Mediterranean orzo salad, tomatoes, Kalamata olives, artichoke hearts, sheep’s milk feta and roasted honey glazed carrots; Beef Wellington, with garlic butter Parmesan, smashed red potato with chives and grilled asparagus spears. Sweets for two: Chocolate Lava Cake with Strawberry Coulis; Lemon Raspberry Mouse Cups; Assorted French Macaroons (6 pieces).
If you have a tidbit for the column, call (508) 868-5282. Send email to email@example.com.