Reasons to Celebrate

By Elaine T. Cicora

Our annual LDEI meeting has become not only a time to plan for our chapter’s future, but a time to reflect upon the accomplishments of the past year. On that score, the 14 members who gathered at Toast, on Sept. 23, had much reason to feel proud.

At the top of the list, of course, was SummerDine19, which proved to be our most successful fundraiser ever, adding nearly $4,000 to our grants and scholarship fund and fully funding next year’s awards. Other highlights included the successful Dinner in the Dark with Dames fundraiser in June, which raised nearly $3,000 for our grants and scholarship fund; our first-ever $2,000 culinary scholarship award, made to Melissa Holden; and our $2,000 2019 Green Tables grant, made to Cleveland Roots. (If you wish to learn more about Cleveland Roots, be sure to register now for our Nov. 4 meeting, which will be held at the facility!)

In between our business meeting and the delicious dinner prepared for us by Toast chef-owner Jillian Davis, we took time to mark our ongoing commitments — to the chapter, to our mission and to each other — by taking part in our chapter’s first (but not last!) “pinning ceremony,” which saw each member receiving a lovely enamel membership pin. Membership chair Marcie Barker began the ceremony by pinning new member Jenn Wirtz. President Beth Davis-Noragon then introduced each of the other members in attendance, shared some kind words about them, and pinned them as well; fittingly, the first pins went to founding members Crickett Karson and Bev Shaffer. And finally, vice president Britt Horrocks pinned Beth Davis-Noragon. The board looks forward to making this a part of every annual meeting from now on, as a way to welcome new members and reinforce our commitments. (And who doesn’t love a little LDEI bling?!)

We also marked the occasion with our annual chapter photograph, taken by photographer Dame Beth Segal, on Toast’s patio. (You can see it on our Facebook page.) Thanks, as always, Beth, for your artful eye and generous support!

Beth Davis-Noragon closed the meeting by issuing a challenge, asking each member of the chapter to recruit and sponsor at least one new member in the coming year.
A doubling of our numbers would surely be something to celebrate in 2020!