Raising Money for Ukraine
New York, NY October 7, 2023: To raise funds for landmine clearance in Ukraine, Mitzi Perdue is having some friends over for dinner. Eight, to be exact, and they paid a total of $220,000 to attend.
Mitzi Perdue is the wife of the late Frank Perdue, the Maryland farmer who revolutionized the poultry industry and gave chicken a brand name. Ms. Perdue offered to host and cook a chicken dinner at her home during a charity auction.
The November 8 event is expected to be the most expensive fundraising meal, per capita, ever served. Ms. Perdue's commitment is to use every dollar that is raised to reduce the carnage landmines are causing for military personnel and civilians in Ukraine.
How is Ms. Perdue — widow of the chicken magnate Frank Perdue — preparing to meet the high expectations for the evening?
Her Salisbury, Md., apartment will be transformed with special drapery and new, stage-worthy lighting. Flowers worth tens of thousands of dollars are being donated by Edgar Martinez, owner of Flowers By Edgar of Santa Clara Calif., and arranged by Samuel Ayala, whose skills have been hailed by People Magazine. As the guests arrive, they will be serenaded by a violinist playing Ukrainian music and served donated caviar, blinis, vodka and champagne.
The meal is being planned under the supervision of Dame Sheila B. Driscoll, aka "Dame Venturus, the Beauty Food Queen," who is donating her time and using her contacts to have every part of the evening donated. The main course, which is being prepared by Chef Tanika von Rathonyi-Rohadfox of the Culinary Institute of America, will be a dish from Ms. Perdue's "The Chicken Cookbook" that was once served at the Connaught Hotel to the Queen Mother — that is, the mother of Queen Elizabeth II — who enjoyed it so much that she repeatedly requested it in later years.
Among the dessert choices will be a “statement cake” from Anna A. Umar, owner of Anna Suliana Cakes, one of the most famous bakeries in the country. The dessert chocolatiers are students volunteers from local colleges and universities, who are getting experience in the field they are studying and helping to build their resumés, all while supporting the Ukrainian cause.
The November 8 fundraiser is the latest manifestation of Ms. Perdue's support for Ukraine. She has traveled there three times since Russia's brutal invasion, met with civilian and military authorities, written extensive on conditions and made multiple contributions, including money for landmine clearance, a women's shelter in Liviv and the purchase of five speedboats for the Kiev police to patrol the Dnieper River after their own boats were turned over to the military.
To get a fuller sense of her commitment, do a search on "Mitzi Perdue emerald" to learn about her auctioning her Atocha emerald engagement ring to raise
$1.2 million. You'll find 28,000 hits, including this story in the New York Times.
Please contact us if you are interested in interviewing Ms. Perdue and covering her record-setting fundraiser.