Let’s Celebrate 100!

Tuesday’s Announcement of the West Side Market Centennial Gala Celebration had Twitter buzzing. And me personally beyond excited.

First of all – everyone knows I have a crush on a certain chef named Michael Symon. I am praying that I somehow run into him the weekend of November 3rd.

Photo – The Food Network

Second – this list of chefs is unbelievable (including a couple of my most favorite Clevelanders).

April Bloomfield, New York City
Andrew Carmellini, New York City
Britt-Marie Culey, Cleveland
Karen DeMasco, New York City
Chris Hodgson, Cleveland
Paul Kahan, Chicago
Jeff Michaud, Philadelphia
Jonathon Sawyer, Cleveland
Michael Symon, Cleveland
Marc Vetri, Philadelphia
Eric Williams, Cleveland
Paul Minnillo, Cleveland
Rocco Whalen, Cleveland
Andrew Zimmern, New York

To quote Jonathan Sawyer and Michael Symon- 14 Chefs, 6 Food & Wine best new chefs and 10 James Beard Foundation winners and nominations. That’s what we’re working with here people. Yes, the ticket is a little bit more than what I would have hoped for ($250/person) but when you look at the list of chefs and the experience this is going to be and the fact that it’s to celebrate one of Cleveland’s gems, it’s reasonable (in my opinion).

Throughout the next few months, everyone will have the opportunity to join the Market in celebrating #100. Check out WSM100 to learn more and  buy tickets. And if you have’t yet, spend a Saturday morning at the Market. It’s an experience truly unlike any other in our city!

p.s. Big thanks to Chef Symon and Chef Sawyer for being so involved in this gala. I love seeing hometown pride! 

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About lifeinthecle

30 Something Advertising/PR/Marketing Young Professional living in and loving the CLE. Favorite things include the Cleveland Browns, Starbucks, deep conversations, volunteering, writing, social media, fashion and wine.
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8 Responses to Let’s Celebrate 100!

  1. Pingback: It’s Not About the Money, Money, Money | Life in the CLE

  2. kakaty says:

    As I fundraiser, event planner and foodie I’m sure i have a different viewpoint than many. I was eagerly awaiting the announcement so I could get tickets. I honestly was thinking the “commoner” level tickets would be around $150-175 each and was ready to purchase. So it was a surprise when I saw the price. As a fundraiser, I TOTALLY get it and I knew they’d still sell out at that price (which they did in a heartbeat) and I’m thrilled for them. And, yes, I’m selfishly disappointed because I couldn’t come up with $500 on a moment’s notice to snag some tix for the husband and myself.

    However, where I think there was some lack of planning on a PR front is the other events. It wasn’t until I happened to see a comment on a FB group site which was linked to on twitter by someone I follow that I knew anything about the Festival and Parade which sounds awesome. @WestSideMarket finally made mention of it hours later. I’m not a FB person – I’m hardly on the site so if the market was talking about the Oct.7 stuff there they missed a big audience.

    I’m excited to celebrate 100 years of the Market. It’s disheartening to see the negativity around the price of the gala but if they didn’t expect it they didn’t do their homework. Now, they aren’t a traditional non-profit and this is their first go-round in the fundraising area, so I’ll cut them some slack. As the kick-off to a capital campaign the gala perfect, but I don’t know how well they got that message out – I still think people think it’s a party and not the start of a larger fundraising campaign.

    • kakaty says:

      And, I forgot to say…whoever did their graphic design for the celebrations? GENIUS. I love them so much. I want shirts with all the graphics.

    • lifeinthecle says:

      I think I saw it from a different perspective. I’m a former fundraiser/event planner so when I saw the list of chefs, I mentally prepared myself for the ticket price. I wasn’t super shocked to be honest with you, especially knowing that there are going to be a lot of big Cleveland hitters that will want to attend the event, and will more than likely be following up with a donation.

      I think the original announcement of the 100th celebration came months ago. The gala is just one piece of the puzzle (http://wsm100.org/index.php/kickoff/)

      I’m surprised by the reaction for a variety of reasons (including those listed above and below). It’s just sad that we can’t support our fellow Clevelanders.

  3. Kristian says:

    I have to agree with kakaty – I think the initial promotions started off on the wrong foot.

    In the video for the gala, this event is presented in a way that the viewer believes it’s simply a party where tickets are going to go so quickly that they’ll be easily attainable (aka not out of their budget). Even Chef Sawyer paints a picture of roasting a chicken and inviting all his friends.

    Casual. Lax. Open invite….Awesome!

    There’s no mention that it’s a fundraiser (or the need to even HAVE a fundraiser) and definitely no mention of other events that ARE more easily attend-able.

    So the PR boosts the enthusiasm of the viewer, puts in that sense of urgency (as well as obligation)…only for the viewer to click the link and see a one-price (not even a cheaper price sans open bar) ticket of $250.

    I feel that the PR people should have tried to better tap into the mind of the Cleveland community before going the route they did.

    I hear a lot of people say they are “disappointed” in the average Clevelander’s reaction.

    But, interestingly enough, I have yet to hear that they were “surprised” by it.

    • lifeinthecle says:

      I’d have to disagree – the actual start of the celebration was months ago and it was announced that a gala would be coming, as well as additional events. Obviously with names like the ones above, the announcement about the gala was going to be a much bigger deal. It’s not often that we have the opportunity to have all of these chefs in one room.

      Obviously, the “average” Clevelander cannot attend every event the city holds. There are tons of fundraisers I’d love to attend but I know which ones I need to budget for, such as Jump Back Ball which by the way boasts a ticket cost of about $300 for two people to attend and there are no celebrity chefs there, yet the event is packed every year with specifically with young professionals.

      I actually was not just disappointed, I was also surprised by the reaction. It’s disheartening to see the reactions and also read the comments from these chefs who pour their heart and soul into our city. I hate that many of the chefs, including Michael Symon and Chris Hodgson, had to defend the event.

      • Kristian says:

        To make it clear, I’m not arguing the price for the event nor the reason for the pricing. I think it’s fine and dandy to be having this gala and that we should be proud to have all of these wonderful chefs participating in such a historic landmark like the West Side Market.

        What I AM saying is that I don’t feel the event was communicated correctly to the public as to its purpose (a fundraiser), the reason (and importance) of the said fundraiser, and other forms of celebration that were more accessible….therefore leading to the reaction it got.

        On the plus side, the event is getting a LOT more press. So they have a better chance of selling tickets.

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