Local chefs plan to help shooting victims' families

4:16 PM, Mar 11, 2012   |    comments
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CLEVELAND -- Chefs in northeast Ohio will use their culinary skills to help families of the victims of a high school shooting that left three students dead and three others injured.

More than 30 chefs are joining forces at two Cleveland-area restaurants to raise money for families of the victims of the Feb. 27 shooting at Chardon High School, when authorities allege a 17-year-old boy admitted firing 10 shots at a group of students sitting at a cafeteria table.

Students and staff at the International Culinary Arts and Sciences Institute in Chesterland also will hold a benefit to help the affected families, The Plain Dealer newspaper reported.

All proceeds from the institute's March 17 lunch at its Student CafDe will go to the Chardon Fund established to help survivors with their recovery.

The school also will accept additional donations on behalf of the fund, and servers at the benefit will donate any tips they receive as a gift from the institute's student body.

The two culinary events planned for the restaurants will be at separate locations on the night of March 19.

One of the Chefs for Chardon benefits will be at the Flour Rustic Italian Kitchen in the Cleveland suburb of Moreland Hills. Ticket holders will be able to sample dishes prepared by at least a dozen chefs.

Flour owner Paul Minnillo said he didn't hesitate to help out when he heard what had happened at the high school.

"Your heart just goes out for those kids and their families, and you just want to help in any way you can," he said.

The other benefit will be hosted by an array of chefs at AMP 150 at the Cleveland Airport Marriott. The hotel has donated a banquet room for the event.

Chef Brian Okin of the Fountain restaurant in Moreland Hills said he and AMP 150 chef Jeff Jarrett decided to offer individual stations rather than a sit-down dinner for that benefit. About 16 chefs are slated to participate, but Okin and Jarrett are hoping to increase that number.

"We have so much room at our disposal, so we'll find spaces for more chefs and guests," Okin said.

The shooting suspect, T.J. Lane, is charged in juvenile court with aggravated murder, attempted aggravated murder and felonious assault.

Authorities say the motive is unclear but that Lane admitted firing at students.

Authorities will decide later whether he'll be tried as an adult and face a possible life sentence if he's convicted.

The Associated Press

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