Pieces of Eight Supports Hospital

WCA Foundation fund-raises for Obstetrics surgical suite

By Brigetta E. Overcash

While the first prize of the enticing 2014 fund-raiser Pieces of Eight is being planned, the Board of Directors of WCA Foundation have launched Pieces of Eight #2. The emphasis of this campaign is to raise funds to support the building of WCA Hospital’s new Obstetrical Surgical Suite.

“Our board felt choosing a project like the surgical suite would support a broad spectrum of our community and benefit WCA. It was the right choice this year. At a time when WCA Hospital is raising funds for the project, we felt our unusual fund-raiser would offer everybody a chance to help,” said Cristie Herbst, board chair of WCA Foundation.

“Of course, we’d be happy to help anyone make larger donations to the building project as well. But, when you think about it, a $10 ticket price gives everyone an opportunity to help the hospital and win a $1,000 dining experience. It’s a win, win for everyone.”

Ten months after the first Pieces of Eight drawing, the special winning dinner and wine pairing is being planned for the dining experience of  Dr. Gritters’ family. Chef Todd Singleton who will prepare and serve it recently met with Melanie Gritters in his kitchen while he was home-schooling his sons.

Mrs. Gritters, wife of the much surprised Dr. Lyndon Gritters whose ticket was randomly picked as the winner of the first Pieces of Eight fund raising event, said “We bought all those tickets so we could celebrate my Dad’s 80th birthday. Then my Dad got sick and  we’ve just had a really hard time getting all our family together when Todd was able to prepare and serve the meal. We think we have everyone on board now and are ready to celebrate my Dad.”

Building the meal back to front, the chef and hostess begin talking food philosophies.
“I know you like really fresh food just like me,” Singleton said. “And, I know we have to work around your food allergies, but we’ll be able to work out an elegant menu with very simple courses.”

“We went to a wine pairing on our trip and we had the most wonderful Port,” Gritters said. “So, maybe that would be good for dessert to have a cheese platter with Port.

“And cheese, its good for you. It’s good fat. It’s good for you,” she added. “Eat all the good fat you can.”

Planning dessert first went well for the Pieces of Eight dinner with the build in wine pairing.  Soon it will be up to Sam Whitmore, owner of Bag and String, to choose the remaining wines for the five course meal.

A simple salad will start the meal followed by a savory and hot appetizer. Portobello or Cremini mushrooms stuffed with caramelized onion and gorgonzola cheese will do.  And now, they have to choose the fish dish.

“You can find great fish,” Chef  Singleton said. “I’ll look for something like Black Cod that is medium sized. It’s about the perfect size fillet.  Easy to work with and it has a medium flake. It’s a perfect pristine white fish – needs little trimming and few bones.  We’ll serve some mangos and plantains for carbs.

“We’ll give it a quick dredge with a little coconut flour and pan fry it in coconut oil,” he added. “Let’s follow it with a beef course of braised short ribs with Chinese five spice.”
With the menu intact, the conversation ramped up to discuss what a great – and creative – fund-raising opportunity Pieces of Eight truly is.

“It’s our hope that everyone who bought a ticket last year will buy at least one ticket this year,” Gritters said.  “The odds are pretty good when only 500 tickets are being sold and you can feel good about buying the $10 tickets because you know it’s for a good cause.  Who doesn’t want to support WCA?”

It’s simple to see why Mrs. Gritters would be upbeat about the project. She is a board member of WCA Foundation and her husband is a dedicated Radiologist at WCA Hospital and an avid supporter of the hospital.  For Todd Singleton it’s another story.

“I left a wonderful career in Key West to come ‘back home’ because I loved this area and felt it had amazing opportunity,” said Singleton. “My wife, Alexis, and I support WCA and events like this because we love this city and want it to be strong and viable. We’re parents and business owners here.  We want to be sure we have the best healthcare facility possible in Jamestown. Supporting this raffle to benefit the new OB surgical suite just makes sense to us.”

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