BY: MARK CURTIS
PHOTOS: TERRY JOHNSTON
As a close friend to Heather Halligan, Mark’s girlfriend of many years, I reached out to see what I could do to help. Her wish was to see a culinary scholarship set up in Mark’s name. I took the idea and ran with it.
All the pieces quickly came together. I started by contacting Rod Glupker, Flavor616 Magazine, to solicit his help in setting up a scholarship fund at GRCC’s Secchia Culinary Institute. Then I spoke with Jenna Arcidiacono, chef and owner at Amore Trattoria Italiana. The event started to come together as we used ideas of reaching out to other well known chefs like, Ice Guru Randy Finch, Tommy Fitzgerald and Sawako Cline. The concept was to create a fundraising brunch at Amore Trattoria Italiana — all done in just a little over a month after Chef Mark’s passing.
Donations were solicited from all over West Michigan to help supply the brunch with food and to have auction items to help in the fundraising effort. We had over 50 auction items/packages to offer, some very unique items, like a 2 hour ice carving class with Randy Finch or a chef’s pasta battle with Chefs Jenna Arcidiacono and Tommy Fitzgerald.
The brunch and silent auction was held on Sunday, September 22nd from 12 – 3pm. Over 200 guests and volunteers from all over West Michigan were in attendance including Chef Mark’s family, who came from the east side of the state.
Culinary help came in from all over West Michigan. Besides the aforementioned chefs, Chef O Hale, Chef Len Towne from New Holland Brewing Co., Chef Steve Brechting, Chef Chad Allen Idema from the Speak EZ lounge, plus volunteers from Amore, the Secchia Culinary Institute, and Kitchen Sage.
Further donations can be made online at: http://cms.grcc.edu/grccfoundation/donatetograndrapidscommunitycollegefoundation
Like the Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/ChefMarkNosedaScholarshipFund
Further annual fundraising will take place to fund the scholarship so it can be endowed and continue to help aspiring young culinarians attending the institute for generations to come.