Local restaurants step up to help out Haiti

Two very different restaurant fundraisers this week bought a literal boatload of help for Haiti.

First up: The $125-a-head, six-course meal at Rioja on Monday night wound up raising $21,518 for Project C.U.R.E., which the Denver-based non-profit will leverage into a forty-foot container of medical relief for Haiti with a value of $400,000. In an amazing act of generosity, seven chefs -- including Max Mackissock of the Squeaky Bean, Jennifer Jasinski of Rioja and Bistro Vendome, Yasmin Lozada-Hisson and John Broening of Duo and Olivea, Alex Seidel and Blake Edmunds of Fruition and Travis Vaughn of Frasca -- donated time (taking it away from their own restaurants) and product to the effort, so that every penny could go to the cause.

But doing good doesn't have to involve such elaborate preparations.

Last night, Steuben's and Vesta Dipping Grill offered a good example of how quick a fundraising campaign can be. The sibling restaurants tweeted that they would be donating 10 percent of the Tuesday night take to Share Our Strength's relief efforts in Haiti, a few regulars put it on Facebook, and the effort raised a fast $2,000.

But then, as Steuben's Gina Gerstner pointed out, "Tuesdayis meatloaf night."

Find more ways to get out and help out Haiti here.

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