Properly positions your dinner napkins and get ready to try some local foods, because Hospice of Chattanooga’s Cleveland branch is hosting its sixth annual Chef’s Showdown fundraiser on Friday, …
Properly positions your dinner napkins and get ready to try some local foods, because Hospice of Chattanooga’s Cleveland branch is hosting its sixth annual Chef’s Showdown fundraiser on Friday, June 22, at 6:30 p.m. at Cleveland Country Club!
Top area chefs will vie for the prestigious honor of 2018’s Best Chef. Attendees will sample an entrée from each location and vote on their favorites.
Hospice of Chattanooga’s Cleveland/Athens program director Leslie Painter said this is the area’s only not-for-profit hospice.
“I’ll run into people who say, ‘Oh my mom used hospice and it was great.’ I’ll ask which hospice, and they’ll state they had no idea there was more than one hospice. You have an option to choose which hospice you go to,” Painter said.
Each year, the organization hosts several fundraisers, which include silent auctions, beverages, entertainment and dancing.
“Chef Showdown allows us to provide indigent care for our community through a fun, interactive event that pits local chefs against one another to see who can make the best dish,” Painter said.
This year, participating restaurants include the Cleveland Country Club; Aubrey’s; Regina Piersal, a local caterer; Old Fort; Fulin’s; and Stack: Southern Bistro. Several of the restaurants have won first place over the past five years.
“It’s neat how a different location wins every year. That’s not planned. It’s all up to the attendees,” Painter said. “The chefs bring what they’re gonna serve as a small entrée, and the participants who attend have all these entrees plus an open bar, salad and dessert. This is a full, catered meal.”
Each chef is given a small area to prepare samples, which includes a prep station with a large sign and electricity.
Painter said some chefs bring all their materials and make the food directly in front of attendees. Upon completion of the meal, attendees can go vote for their favorite dish. Putt-putt is also available for a small fee, with players being entered to win a grand prize.
Tickets cost $100 each, and include the meal, open bar and after party featuring the Dexter Thomas Band. All proceeds benefit indigent, meaning in need, care in the community.
Normally, Medicare covers hospices, but sometimes people who are not of Medicare age and are indigent are left with no resources. This funding is made possible through the Hospice of Chattanooga Foundation. The Cleveland office sees patients from Bradley and Polk counties while the Athens office has Meigs and McMinn counties.
Describing hospice as end-of-life care for people facing a life-ending illness, Painter explained that Hospice of Chattanooga covers those with a variety of maladies, including but not limited to COPD, cancer, cardiac issues, kidney disease, liver disease and even Alzheimer’s and dementia.
“Dementia is one of the hardest to diagnose because you could have it for three or four years with your body being fine, but your mind is slowly drifting away,” Painter added.
Once dementia or Alzheimer’s has been diagnosed, the workers use what’s called a fast scale, which determines what stage of the disease a patient has reached. Ranging from 1-7 with seven being the most severe, the scale is incredibly helpful for workers in determining how close someone is to needing complete comprehensive care. Some of the telling signs to indicate this progression include lack of ability to feed, clothe or use the toilet themselves. Upon seeing these signs, Painter states this is an appropriate time to consider hospice.
“Typically, hospice is a six-month or less diagnosis, but someone with Alzheimer’s may live longer. If they are declining like most of our patients, Medicare will allow us to continue caring for them,” she added.
Serving around 90 patients, the 23 staff members of Hospice of Chattanooga include six case managers who work with around 10 patients each; two after-hours nurses; two admission nurses; two social workers; six CNAs; and one CTA, or certified technical assistant. The staff also provides chaplain services.
As many people struggle with payment for end-of-life care, Painter states nearly everyone will encounter a scenario in which a loved one needs help, but funds are limited.
“I can’t imagine someone dying and not having the comfort and the dignity they deserve,” she said. “I’m thankful we can provide help for these people, and with our fundraising goal of $45-$50,000, we can definitely continue to do that and then some.”
For tickets, call 423-476-3696, or go to www.hospiceofchattanooga.org.
Hospice of Chattanooga is located at 2145 Keith St. Cleveland TN 37311.
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