A D’Vine Martini for Marcfirst

September 6, 2018
By Bridget McCafferty and Ashley Dusa

NORMAL, IL — Marcfirst had a D’Vine night of community and sponsorship while hosting its 2018 Fall fundraiser that welcomed many excited donors from the Bloomington-Normal area.

A D’Vine Martini, which was originally separated as two fundraising occasions within the Fall season, became one this year. Marcfirst combined Martinis for Marcfirst with A D’Vine Affair, celebrity style cook-off. The evening at Ewing Manor was filled with fine spirits, exceptional dining and friends from the community.

The night kicked off with a VIP Hour that featured various wines and beverages. Following VIP Hour, Marcfirst choir “The Marcfirst Melodies” sang for guests. The group proudly features individuals that the agency supports.

“I was happy and excited to sing, I was just having fun” said Tim. Choir members from Marcfirst were eager to perform for guests and showcase their talents. Songs that were featured were “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” and “Here Comes the Sun”.

Following the performance, the celebrity cook-off began. Chef Troy from Biaggi’s Ristorante Italiano competed against Diane Anderson. Each dish was distributed to guests from Biaggi’s staff and local volunteers. After a tied vote, past competitors Sam Lewis and Jhun Medina offered their opinions as guest judges. They voted differently and it all came down to one vote by Marcfirst’s very own, Martha. She voted for Chef Troy’s dish and he was crowned the winner of the cook-off.

Throughout the night, Eric, who is supported by Marcfirst through the Supported Employment Program, took pictures of guests and the cook-off.

“I like taking pictures of friends and family” said Eric. Each table had a photograph taken and the choir was a focal point for Eric’s lens.

Guests were happy to be in attendance to support a strong cause that impacts many in the community. Marcfirst assists over 800 children and adults with developmental disabilities in McLean County.

“I was really excited to be invited to this event. This means so much to me because we try to give back to the community” said Paula Kilpatrick. “Standing behind the singers of Marcfirst was such a blessing” continued Kilpatrick.

The successful night ended with guests leaving with smiles and a sense of community. With the generous help from the funding raised from these events, Marcfirst is able to help individuals with disabilities meet their full potential.