Culinary Queens event raises $254,000 for Easterseals Arc

Local News

Old National Bank’s first Culinary Queens event in Fort Wayne on Nov. 10, raised more than $254,000 for Easterseals Arc of Northeast Indiana.

Old National and Easterseals Arc teamed up to recruit nearly 100 of the Fort Wayne area’s most notable women to prepare their favorite dishes for guests to sample. Queens competed for tips to see who would be crowned as High Queen at the end of the night. The total of more than $254,000 includes event sponsorships, ticket and table sales, and tips to Queens in advance and at the event.

“We are very grateful to Old National Bank for inviting us to be their partner for Culinary Queens,” said Donna Elbrecht, Easterseals Arc president and CEO. “The event brought nearly 1,000 community members together to learn more about Easterseals Arc, and the funds raised truly exceeded our expectations.”

Culinary Queens originated four years ago in Old National’s Terre Haute market as a community response to Old National’s first fundraising endeavor, 100 Men Who Cook.

“Giving back to the community is very important to Old National Bank,” said Dan Doan, Old National Bank Regional CEO. “Choosing Easterseals Arc as the beneficiary for Culinary Queens demonstrates our commitment to teamwork, community, diversity and inclusion in a very hands-on way.”

Elbrecht and Doan both credited the Queens for their hard work in not only preparing food, but also generating excitement, raising money through tips, and building community support through sponsorships and ticket sales.

The top fundraisers were:

  • Kos Lugakingira, top soup, salad, or side dish and overall High Queen
  • Kathy Callen, top entrée
  • Dena Jacquay, top dessert
  • Marty Sturges, top appetizer

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