Last Thursday, the New York Stock Exchange was a little busier after the ringing of the closing bell than normal. Sure, all the suited up, frantic stock brokers went home (well most of them at least), but that’s when a few less likely people started to show up.
One of these unusual after-hours guests was Mark Ladner, award winning chef of Del Posto here in New York City. Mark and a team of cooks, servers, and other staff showed up and following closely behind them, a plethora of premier Italian culinary vendors marched in tow. Marco of Parmacotto’s staff carrying an entire pig’s worth of prosciutto and a large hand crank slicer, Italian Olive Oil Club with cases of olive oils from various regions in Italy, Bertani and Chianti bringing their various vintages and varietals, Solerno with cases of their blood orange liquor (great replacement for Cointreau/Grand Marnier in margaritas by the way), and the list goes on.
Now, I know what you’re thinking, “What high-brow, hedge fund executive’s birthday is it today?” Surprisingly, though, the reasoning for all this delicious Italian fare was a much more noble (and a much less selfish) one.
April 18th, 2013 marked the second annual Making Dreams Come True Event. This event was a fundraiser for the construction of schools in Newmark, NJ for students with special needs. The main component of this event was a silent auction that allowed esteemed guest to bid on various items including golf and tennis packages, date nights, jewelry, and other fun goodies with all the proceeds going to the goal of helping to build the new schools. Last year’s event was an outstanding success and managed to raise over $350,000 for the organization and this year’s was expected to top that.
Mark donated his time and dishes to be served as hor d’oeuvres during the event (from his renowned mac and cheese, to lobster and truffle sandwiches, to olive oil ice cream dipped in chocolate) and the various Italian sponsors all rallied with their different offerings to make the night an appealing and memorable one for all the guests involved (while the wine producers helped to loosen the grip on their wallets).
What a great way to use food, wine, and the promise of tennis to promote a great cause, no?
We’d like to say a special thank you to La Cucina Italiana magazine for their part in helping to organize the event as a major sponsor (and for inviting us to come join in).
If you would like to donate to the Newmark Schools fund yourself, would like to attend next year, or want to help sponsor the cause in any way, head to their site here. Also, you can visit the NYSE Euronext page for info on more charities involved with the New York Stock Exchange.