Healthy dining unites local businesses in annual charity
By Chris Galford
February marked the third anniversary dinner of the Sexy Food, Sexy Body, Sexy Lifestyle soiree. It’s an homage to the event’s two main contributors, and to the food at its heart—the Spicy Tuna Sushi Bar & Grill provided the Asian cuisine noted for its healthy nature, while Serenity Health and Wellness Center’s services are aimed at bodily health—and together, they aimed to get people feeling good.
Yet the goal of the event was something else entirely: raffle proceeds and a portion of sales went directly into the pockets of the Alzheimer’s Association, to fund their efforts against the growing mental ailment.
For those running the event—Li Yu and Dr. Deitra Hickey, friends and business partners alike—the decision to make Alzheimer’s their dinner’s focus actually brought its charity into closer alignment with their own lives.
“The first year when we were open, we had to do something to mark ourselves in a sense, and we figured the best way to do it was to help out the community,” Li said. “Then this year we decided to change up a little bit and do Alzheimer’s, which is a little closer to my heart, because my mom was diagnosed with dementia about nine years ago now. She doesn’t recognize any of us.”
Previous years have seen the charity work to benefit Project iAm, raising money for children with autism.
“Charity is so important and that’s our passion, and why we want to go forward with it, but on the other hand, we’re also both big on making this community a better place, and offering something at the beginning of February on a weekday when there is nothing else going on—well, our guests are so appreciative that we’re doing this,” Dr. Hickey said.
Because this night’s other goal was to give local business leaders a chance to mingle. Between the good times—which included live music, a caricature artist, a raffle, wine tastings, vendor tables and other entertainment—the hope was for these businesses to come together and find united interests; that is to say, to cross-promote those that are non-competing businesses.
“It’s crucial for small businesses these days,” Li said.
Held at Spicy Tuna, the event ran for two nights straight, with somewhere between 120-150 attendees each night, according to Dr. Hickey. And while there were already many levels of sponsorship, it’s an event that’s grown with each passing year.
Sponsors this year included: Flame Asian Tapas Bar and Grill, Florian Insurance Agency, Heidelberg Distributing Company, Key Bank, Padgett Business Services, Sam’s Club, Schmakel Smile, Shordt’s Lawn and Landscape, Stella & Dot by Mindi Marshall, TAS Electronics, The Walking Company, Toledo City Paper, Ty Ku, Walter Berman & Co., and Waterville Chiropractic Clinic.
Show your support for local merchants! Contact Li at 419-720-9333; by email at email@example.com; visit Spicy Tuna at 7130 Airport Hwy. Holland; or visit the website at http://www.spicytunasushi.com. Contact Dr. Hickey at 419-891-2181; by email at firstname.lastname@example.org; visit Serenity Health and Wellness Center at 1685 Lance Pointe Road Maumee; or visit the website at http://serenityhealthmaumee.com.