Wednesday, November 20, 2002

Chefs Douglas Lum, left, Alan Tsuchiyama, center, and William Bruhl sample Bruhl's sea scallop dish, to be served at the Chefs' Millennium Tables at the AFY banquet Nov. 29.

Annual dinner party
helps at-risk kids

By Betty Shimabukuro

The day after Thanksgiving doesn't seem the wisest time to schedule a fancy dinner party for charity. But for 16 years, Adult Friends for Youth has successfully staged its major fund-raiser on this day of distended tummies, when thoughts tend to turn more to shopping than food.

Celebration of Youth

A dinner and auction benefiting Adult Friends for Youth:

When: 4:45 p.m. Nov. 29
Place: Sheraton Waikiki, Hawaii Ballroom
Cost: $100; tables for 10 $1,000 to $3,500
Chefs' Millennium Tables: For the top price of $3,500, diners will be served an exclusive menu by seven chefs coordinated by Doug Lum of the Mariposa.
Call: 833-8775 or 395-6008

It could be the good deeds done with the money raised. Adult Friends works to keep at-risk kids out of prison. Simple as that.

Judie Rosen, wife of Sid Rosen, director of the program, has run the annual dinner-auction, "Celebration of Youth," since the beginning.

She said the event is held at this time because the host hotel is willing to let volunteers in early, this particular week being traditionally slow for ballroom use. It takes three full days to set up the 1,000 auction items.

The dinner has always been held at the Sheraton Waikiki, and the price has always been $100 per person. "We're very consistent," Rosen said.

As are the 800 people who come to dinner, 90 percent of whom return year after year, Rosen said. "It's a very big loyalty type of thing."

She remembers the first year, when the event had to be moved to the Sheraton from a smaller site because reservations doubled from the 200 she had planned on. "We had to switch hotels in 24 hours."

Complicating matters, she had a serious case of the flu, requiring intravenous fluids. "So with one hand I was having an IV and with the other hand I was calling all these people to tell them we switched hotels."

This year's program as always will feature testimonials from teens that Adult Friends has helped, followed by a live auction and a performance by Frank DeLima -- who, like everyone else, donates his time. "The only thing we pay for is the dinner," Rosen said. Everything else goes back into the program."

The event typically raises more than $300,000.

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