It is a gathering of friends and family over food and drinks to benefit the Autism Society of Boulder County. Not only are some of the best chefs from around the country all going to get together in one place, and for a good cause, but anyone in the country has an opportunity to win some amazing prizes in the Jack’s Benevolent Bash raffle.
Head Chef for The Post Brewing Co., Brett “Smitty” Smith, is the founder of the Jack Ferrigno Send a Kid to Camp Grant in honor of his former boss, Zozo’s Ristorante, St. John’s Chef John Ferrigno’s son, Jack, who lived with autism and passed away in 2008 at age 6 due to complications resulting from a seizure disorder, just two months after Smith left the Virgin Islands.
Autism spectrum disorders affect different kids in different ways, from social disorders to physical problems. The Jack Ferrigno Send a Kid to Camp grant program helps parents provide special needs kids with resources for therapeutic activities during summer months, which can be a financial strain on families.
“It’s definitely more expensive than your average kid, which is expensive enough,” Chef Smith said. “(If) we can’t try for a cure, let’s try to make things a little bit better for kids and their families.”
Anyone can apply for the $500 grant for their child to participate in all sorts of summer
activities and programs – from horseback riding to sleep away camps – and in four years, Jack’s Benevolent Bash has been able to raise more than $75,000 and sent some 150 kids to camp.
The fourth annual Jack’s Benevolent Bash takes place Sunday, Aug. 2 from 1-4 p.m. at the Koenig Alumni Center on CU’s campus. Tickets are available through the Autism Society’s website www.autismboulder.com. The Post Brewing Co. is hosting the event for the second year, with almost all of the chefs and breweries returning again this year – it’s a sort of mini culinary family reunion.
Smith’s daughter was age 2 when he and his family left the Virgin Islands. Ferrigno’s daughter was close in age, and the two have been able to grow up together throughout the years by way of Jack’s Benevolent Bash. Both of Jack’s parents and their children, along with members of Smith’s family will be attending this year’s event. Smith said it is a great event to celebrate together for a good cause.
But you don’t have to attend the event to donate! Raffle tickets purchased through the Autismboulder.org website will enter you in a drawing for a trip to St. John, in the U.S. Virgin Islands; a trip to Boston to see a Kenny Chesney concert (winner gets chauffeured in a ’61 Pontiac Grand Prix convertible!); or a 3-day whitewater rafting trip in Buena Vista, Co. There are more prizes not mentioned here to be sure to visit the website for more info. Raffle tickets are $10 and you do not need to be present (or in this state) to win!*
This year’s Chefs include:
- Hosea Rosenberg (Season 5 winner of Bravo TV’s Top Chef) Blackbelly Market
- Ian Clark BRU Handbuilt Ales and Eats
- Rick Betance La Revolución Taqueria
- Drew Honness Sweet Cow
- Jen Bush Lucky’s Bake Shop
- John Hinman The Post Brewing Co.
- Justin Goerich Zolo Grill
- Brett Smith The Post Brewing Co.
- Jed Bednarski Victory Farms, New York
- Mike Fortino Zozo’s Ristorante, St. John USVI
- Avery Brewing Company
- Wonderland Brewing Co.
- Odd13 Brewing
- Liquid Mechanics Brewing
- Industrial Revolution Brewing
Wine and cocktails will also be served, as well as music from the local and talented Adam Bodine Trio. Also returning for a second year is radio personality Bret Saunders of the KBCO Morning Show.
*The Autism Society of Boulder County – Board of Directors (ASBC) helps individuals with autism spectrum disorders and their families develop a strong, united community by creating opportunities for people to connect, share experiences and build new relationships. The money raised from this raffle will fund our “Jack Ferrigno Send a Kid to Camp” program. This program allows people with autism to attend therapeutic and recreational clinics that teach skills like bike riding independently, skiing, snowboarding, skateboarding and many other activities. Opportunities like these are highly motivating for our kids and can have far-reaching benefits. They are drawn in by the fun, and before you know it, they are expanding their social skills and building their confidence.