The hospitality industry likes to call itself a family, but when trouble hits your two-year-old daughter, the states are suddenly much higher than having a struggling co-worker.
Chef Hosea Rosenberg (of Boulder’s Blackbelly, Santo, and Top Chef fame) and his wife Lauren Feder Rosenberg were devastated to learn of their daughter Sophie’s diagnosis of multicentric carpotarsal osteolysis (MCTO) before her third birthday. The ultra-rare disorder affects only about 30 people worldwide and results in degeneration of foot and hand joints as well as kidney failure. The date of the diagnosis? March 9, 2020: just days before Rosenberg’s restaurants were shuttered due to public health orders as a result of COVID.
Hosea and Lauren formed nonprofit Sophie’s Neighborhood immediately, with a goal of raising $2 million to fund research. To date, the organization has raised $700,000, and starting to raise funds for research, and starting Saturday, July 17, a series of events are scheduled to benefit the ‘hood.
- An online auction launches on Saturday, July 17 and runs through Wednesday, July 21. Browse the auction items here; they include five nights in Maui with a helicopter ride over the island; thee nights in Las Vegas or Lake Tahoe; signed concert posters; a private movie screening for a group of 10; cases of wine; and private meal for six by chef Taj Cooke of Ms. Betty’s Cooking. New items are constantly being added.
- Saturday, July 18 is National Ice Cream Day and it’s forecast to be hot as balls, so it’s the perfect time to buy some scoops as part of Sophie’s Ice Cream Social. Denver- and Boulder-area eateries (including Blackbelly, Santo, Gelato Boy, Steuben’s, Sweet Cow, the Ice Cream Farm, Sherry’s Soda Shoppe, Root Down, Linger, El Five, Vital Root, Lucky’s Bakehouse, Ash’Kara, and River & Woods) are donating proceeds from ice cream sales. Check out the Sophie’s Neighborhood website for additional participants and details of all the deals.
- You want to snap up tickets for the Wednesday, July 21 Supper Club dinner at Boulder’s Black Cat Farm. Just 40 seats are available for the 7 p.m. dinner, which will be a five-course spread from chefs Taj Cooke, Rosenberg, Eric Skokan (Black Cat Bistro and Bramble & Hare) and Aniedra Nichols (Table 6). Tickets are $275 per person and include cocktail and wine pairings plus live music. Every cent of the proceeds from the meal will be donated, but if you can’t snag a seat, don’t despair. Upcoming Supper Club installments with Nichols on August 26 and Kelly Whitaker (the Wolf’s Tailor, Basta, Brutø) on September 9 will also benefit Sophie’s Neighborhood. Get details and tickets on Supper Club’s website.
“When we received Sophie’s diagnosis last March at the same time as the pandemic was starting, it felt like we were drowning,” says Rosenberg. “We couldn’t make sense of the unfairness we were faced with. Butmwhat kept us strong was the people around us. From our friends, the chef and restaurant community, to those we didn’t even know across our state and beyond who contributed to Sophie’s Neighborhood, we have managed to stay strong and focused on getting Sophie and her peers the help they need and deserve. I am touched by the kindness we have received and especially to those like chef Taj who have initiated their own fundraisers and applied their own talents for our benefit. We are more hopeful than ever that our research will make a difference, and it’s entirely due to those supporting us. This dinner will be a beautiful expression of collaboration, community, and togetherness and an uplifting occasion in spite of the circumstances we are fighting.”
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