Two foodie fundraisers set to benefit the Toronto Wildlife Centre this month

Two foodie fundraisers set to benefit the Toronto Wildlife Centre this month

From last year’s Spring for Wildlife event, host Kevin Brauch (left) with Didier Leroy (right) and the Valrhona chocolate sculpture created by chocolatier Sylvain Leroy (centre) (Image: Robert Chapman)

There’s a reason food and fundraisers go hand in hand: what better way to encourage patrons and sponsors to empty their wallets for a good cause than to fill their bellies with delicious food? (See: this weekend’s Toronto Taste.) This month, the Toronto Wildlife Centre—the only organization in the GTA that rescues and provides treatment for wildlife in need—will be on the receiving end of two such events.

This Friday, Didier partners Tory Edwards and Didier Leroy will be hosting the second annual Spring for Wildlife fundraiser at their restaurant. Joining them in the $295-per-head event are Hiro Yoshido (Hiro Sushi), Doug McNish (Grail Springs Health and Wellness Spa), Mali Fernandez (Embrujo Flamenco Tapas Bar) and Patrick McMurray (Starfish, Ceili Cottage), to name a few. Edwards, a long-time supporter of the TWC and its services, told us, “It’s a way to help thousands of animals that most people in the community don’t realize need care. It’s not more important, but the TWC doesn’t get the same amount of respect as its hard-working, underpaid staff and volunteers deserve.”

To address this need, a live auction will follow the champagne reception, featuring a crash cymbal used by Rush on their recent tour and signed by the band; a lobster feast for 12 people hosted at the Don Valley Brick Works by Brad Long and Patrick McMurray (valued at over $2,000); a dinner for eight people in Prince Edward County by Jamie Kennedy and Norman Hardie Wines (valued at over $1,600); and an upscale pub crawl (valued at $3,000) with the evening’s hosts Kevin Brauch (Thirsty Traveler, Iron Chef America) and Ben Mulroney (etalk). Tickets are still available, but space is limited.

In a slightly less rarefied price bracket is the first annual Paella Eating Challenge on June 28 at Embrujo Flamenco Tapas Bar on the Danforth, where Toronto firefighters will compete against techies. Half of the ticket sales will go directly to the TWC.

Spring for Wildlife Fundraiser, June 10, Didier, 1496 Yonge St., 416 925-8588, $295.

The Ultimate Paella Eating Challenge: Toronto Firefighters vs. Toronto Techies, June 28, Embrujo Flamenco Tapas Bar, 97 Danforth Ave., 416-778-0007, $25.