Event gets United Way campaign off to ‘a great start’

Published 12:00 am Saturday, September 10, 2005

Tuna sashimi, caviar creme fraiche, beef capacio, seaweed salad and deep fried lasagna were among the delicious fare &uot;Noshers&uot; were treated to Friday afternoon at Constant’s Wharf Park as the Suffolk United Way celebrated its 2005 campaign kickoff.

The first Nosh on the Nansemond Restaurant Extravaganza attracted a crowd that surpassed expectations of event organizers as weather cooperated in helping the Suffolk United Way Campaign get off to a good start.

Campaign Chairman Win Winslow announced that the Pacesetter Campaign -preliminary campaigns by select companies that have been under way for the past eight weeks – raised just under $150,000, 23 percent of the $652,000 goal.

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&uot;I am so gratified by the community support of this event,&uot; said Winslow, shortly before taking to the stage as the bass player for Tootie and the DBG, a southern rock band that provided Nosh entertainment along with the Calypso Nuts. &uot;I know we merely threw a big party, but it’s a fundraiser and I’m glad people came out.

&uot;The sponsors for the event were just so generous it allowed all the ticket sales money to go the United Way. The monetary value is great, but just community support is priceless.&uot;

Several of the restaurateurs, particularly the newer ones in Suffolk that participated, said Nosh was a great opportunity to introduce their fare to Suffolkians who still didn’t know about them – and support a good cause. All the food served, as well as the beverages, were donated.

Ed Beardsley and Nancy Taylor of Art’s Kitchen were busily assembling chicken salad sandwiches – they expected to serve 1,000 – at their tent while Grace Ann Lewis and Thomas Aston feverishly finished preparing the mini quiches.

&uot;We brought six different items and we’ve been at it a couple of days,&uot; Beardsley said. &uot;It’s a little tough when you have to run the restaurant at the same time, but everybody’s in the same boat.&uot;

Corey Duncan, executive chef at the Hilton Garden Inn, an old hand at such events, seemed a little more relaxed. His tuna sashimi and beef capacio pleased a lot of palettes.

Shannon Puglisse, a newcomer to the Suffolk restaurant scene – in fact, so new his restaurant, Agora World Fusion Bar and Bistro has not even opened its doors – said he was excited about the opportunity to introduce his restaurant to Suffolk at Nosh. A tent full of employees worked nonstop assembling plates of seaweed salad, blackened salmon cakes with roasted papaya sauce and tuna sashimi.

&uot;We’re about fun,&uot; said Puglisse as he knelt at the rear of the tent passing plates of seaweed salad toward the front. &uot;We’ll be opening week after next and serving everything under the sun – the first sushi restaurant in Suffolk.&uot;

Agora World Fusion Bar and Bistro is located at 5860 Harbour View Boulevard.

Other participating restaurants, included Pisces, Holland’s, Roy & Ricky, Panevino Caf\u00E9

the Baron’s Pub, Owen’s Catering, Kelly’s Tavern, Java 149 and Harborside Restaurant, all did a brisk business.

Other sponsors included the Addison Group, Suffolk News-Herald, Dominion Surry Power Station, Garcia Development LLC, AllFirst Industrial Contractors, Brandon House, Obici Hospital, Ciba, DBs Construction, the city of Suffolk, the Southeastern Tidewater Opportunity Project Inc., Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce and Miller Brewing.

The local campaign has about two months to come up with the remaining $500,000 to reach this year’s goal, but Winslow is confident of making it.

&uot;This is a great start, but it doesn’t end the campaign,&uot; he said. &uot;It begins it.&uot;