Sweet Charity Committee

Sweet Charity Committee

Food Bank of Western New York, Inc.


Meeting Minutes – June 8, 2017

Attendees:Tom Berical, Keith Bookbinder, Marylou Borowiak, Glenn Butler, Jen Hayes, Jennifer Kamholdz, Maria Mercurio, Peter Renkas, Sarah Snyder, Mary Ann Torsell

Excused: Sarah Jane Burke, Joe Ciffa, Mary Hermans, Gary Maybach, Patti Otto, Tim Wangler


Marylou introduced new committee members, Jennifer Kamholdz and Sarah Snyder andinformed the group that Gary Maybach would be re-joining the committee again. Marylou thanked the committee for all their hard work and stated that we are just shy of 5 million meals raised over the past 11 years. Marylou also shared that Tom Berical and Glenn Butler have graciously agreed to co-chair the Committee for the 2018 event and possibly 2019.

Presenting Sponsor

James Desiderio Wholesale Produce has agreed to be the presenting sponsor for Sweet Charity 2018. This will be the5th year that Desiderio’s will be the presenting sponsor and Marylou expressed the Food Bank’s and Committee’s gratitude for Desiderio’s years of support.


Thereis no cost difference for this year’s event at Adam’s Mark. Tom and Glenn met with Sarah in May at the Adam’s Mark and discussed what went well and what didn’t. The committee will look at how to best utilize the vestibule space and parking concerns will continue to be addressed.



  • Tom, Glenn and Joe will be head of parking, communications


  • Hard to understand what people were saying
  • Difficult to see the screen

Length of event

  • Needs to be extended

Cash bar

  • $800 in sales, suggested to move the bar

Restaurants, Wineries, Distilleries

  • Great representation
  • Too much pasta
  • Need to confirm partners earlier and to manage menus better
  • Reconfigure beer garden

Health department

  • Needs to be there earlier

Chocolate Bars

  • Volunteers need to walk around with the bars to sell
  • Better advertisement


  • Cold and sterile
  • Need to utilize vestibule space better
  • Build an entrance

Live/Silent Auction

  • Publicize the live auction better prior and during the event
  • Better lighting for the silent auction


  • Needs more seating within the ballroom
  • Food Trays & Wine glasses
    need to explore paper tray


Tom and Glenn spoke about the budget and explained that we are looking to increase revenues by $20,000. We will focus on increasing ticket sales by 100-200 tickets and increase sponsorships by $10,000-$15,000. This will require full participation of the committee. We also need to focus on the Bank of America Give-A-Meal campaign where we can triple donations through matched gifts. Tom and Glenn will gather support from the Board and the Food Bank will inform the committee when the Bank of America match begins.



  • $60 - Early until December 15, 2017
  • $75 - Regular Price after December 15, 2017

VIP/ Special Tickets

  • The committee tasked the Special Events subcommittee to explore VIP or special ticket promotions

Committee Assignments

Glenn discussed subcommittee assignments and will follow up with committee members who were absent. Glenn will send out subcommittee assignments when finalized.