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Philanthropic Foodies Showcase Raises Money for Small Charities

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CNY/NNY/S. Tier: Philanthropic Foodies Showcase Raises Money for Small Charities
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SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- It was a packed house Sunday at Gentiles Restaurant in Syracuse for the third annual Philanthropic Foodies Showcase.

The event raises money for small, but worth charities.

"We look for smaller, underserved charities in the area that do really amazing work on limited means, they may not take government money, they have small staffs," said Renee Duffy, a co-organizer of the Philanthropic Foodies Festival.

Attendees sampled delicious food and drink made by chefs from seven area restaurants. The event is expected to bring in between $40,000 to 50,000 this year alone.

The money will have a big impact on small charities, such as recipient Friends of Dorothy. Michael DeSalvo and his partner Nick Orth have spent 22 years caring for people dying of AIDS, without any help from government funds.

They take in two people at a time, who need extra support battling their disease.

"Today what AIDS is really about is the people who aren't stable enough or have compounded issues that keep them from taking their medicines, it's the mentally ill, the addicts, the people in extreme poverty, refugees, people undocumented," said DeSalvo.

Another recipient, Signature Music, provides underprivileged high school students with music education.

"We give them free instruments, free lessons, college visits, and then opportunities to perform in public when they reach a level that they are not going to embarrass themselves and can entertain people, so our students when they're in high school are preparing for careers in music," said Dick Ford, the executive director of Signature Music.

The third charity, Cancer Connects, provides support for cancer patients through numerous wellness services and activities, and a mentoring program.

"People who are going through cancer often times don't want to burden their family and friends and need some emotional support through a very difficult journey they're going through, so we connect them with somebody who has gone through the same type of cancer, there's something more relatable to that, that they've gone thorough it as well," said Stefanie Higgins, the community outreach coordinator for Cancer Connects.

All important missions made possible solely by events like this and crucial community support.

Check out the following links for more information about the event and its charities:
www.philanthropicfoodies.org
friendsofdorothyhouse.org
signaturesyracuse.com
www.cancerconnects.org

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