Community Involvement

LA DOLCE VITA SUPPORTS THE GIRL SCOUTS HEART OF MICHIGAN

Article by: Jane Parikh
Communications Specialist
Kalamazoo Regional Center
9/5/2014

Chef Jordan Conn is a big believer in community outreach.

That outreach includes participation in the Girl Scouts Heart of Michigan Girl Scout Cookie Bake-off Benefit beginning at 6 p.m. on September 25 at Washtenaw Community College.  The event will give the general public an opportunity to try one-of-a-kind desserts prepared by chefs, like Jordan, who know no bounds when it comes to mastering signature dishes.

The chefs creations use Girl Scout Cookies as the main ingredient.   All proceeds from the event will be used to fund outreach programs for girls in Girl Scouts Heart of Michigan’s Ypsilanti/Ann Arbor region.

Jan Barker, Chief Executive Officer with Girl Scouts Heart of Michigan, said people who attend the Bake-off enter into an unofficial partnership with her organization to make sure that any girl who wants a Girl Scout experience will have one regardless of her financial circumstances.

“Our outreach programs bring the benefits of Girl Scouts to the girls who need us the most,” Barker said. “We offer programs in juvenile detention facilities, schools with a high rate of free or reduced lunch, homeless shelters and community centers in low income neighborhoods.

“The financial contributions made during the Bake-off will have a lasting impact on the lives of many of these girls who will learn that they have the ability to become strong women who will lead no matter what career path they choose.”

Guests have the option of purchasing individual tickets for $45 or purchasing tickets for a table of eight for $325.  This gives them exclusive access to desserts and savories, in addition to items in Live and Silent auctions and the chance to vote for their favorite chef entries.

Jordan, who is best known to patrons of La Dolce Vita and the Chop House as the pastry chef for both restaurants, said her Bake-off entry this year will most likely contain Do-S-Do cookies.  Last year she used Samoas.

She learned how to cook from her mother and grandmother, but took a circuitous route to her job as a chef earning a Bachelor’s degree in secondary education from Eastern Michigan University and teaching for five years after that.  In March, 2008 she decided to follow her true passion and enrolled at the prestigious Culinary Institute of America based in Hyde Park, N.Y.

Eighteen months later she graduated from the CIA with an Associate’s degree in Professional Studies in Baking and Pastry.  She went to work for La Dolce Vita and the Chop House in 2013.

“It’s an interesting job.  Everyday it’s always something different,” Jordan said.  “I work better when I have instant gratification and I’m good at it.”

For more information call 800-49-SCOUT.  To purchase tickets visit girlscoutbakeoff.com.


COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT

At Mainstreet Ventures (MSV), we understand the important relationship between our restaurants and our community. That’s why we are dedicated to helping in all of the communities in which we operate.  Annually, we provide up to $50,000 in scholarships to our employees and contribute over $500,000 to various charities.  In our local Ann Arbor community, The Chop House of Ann Arbor provides gift certificates, program sponsorships, food donations, auction items for dinner at The Chop House, and we host several events each year at our restaurant, all in support of the arts, civic programs, education, and health and human services.

In 2008, The Chop House, along with our other Ann Arbor MSV restaurants Real Seafood Company, Gratzi, and Palio embarked on a philanthropic journey of a whole new magnitude, in support of C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital and Von Voigtlander Women’s Hospital to host The Event on Main.  The first Event was held in June of 2009 with an initial goal to raise $50,000 to support the construction of the new Mott Hospital.  Given the proximity of our downtown Ann Arbor MSV restaurants, Main Street seemed an ideal location to host this progressive dinner that started in one restaurant for appetizers, and then led to others for main course and dessert.  Under the close direction of MSV President Michael C. Gibbons and MSV Director of Operations Kevin Gudejko, the event was a huge success and a new annual tradition was started.  The Event on Main has so far raised more than $1 million for C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital and Von Voigtlander Women’s Hospital. In 2010, Mott Hospital took over the organization of the event while our restaurants continue to host it.   More than just a fine dining experience, the fundraiser reaches out to the Ann Arbor community with a street fair ambiance. Several streets are closed to traffic and the public is invited to enjoy live music, games, sidewalk art, and face painting.  Today, the relationship between our Ann Arbor MSV restaurants and the U-M Health System endures; we continue to provide philanthropic support that helps to save lives, enable cutting-edge research, and train the brilliant physicians of tomorrow.  Now that the new hospitals are open, the Event on Main has changed its focus to raise money for different areas of children’s and women’s medicine every year. In 2013, funds raised were used to support clinical care and basic science research in the U-M Food Allergy Center.  Funds for 2014 will benefit the Charles Woodson research fund.  In 2011, MSV was honored by C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital with a play alcove in the General Surgery Waiting Area named in our honor.

We have been extremely fortunate to grow our business in the Ann Arbor community. This is a vibrant and wonderful community, and it is our honor to help support the local community through philanthropic efforts. To our community, we look forward to serving you!

Donation Request
To make a request for a charitable donation, please visit the Community Involvement page at www.mainstreetventuresinc.com/community_involvement

Mainstreet Ventures Family of Restaurants
The Chop House is a Mainstreet Ventures Inc. (MSV) distinctive restaurant. If you would like to learn about MSV restaurants, please visit www.mainstreetventuresinc.com