NYSPCC’s 6th Annual Food & Wine Gala with Chef Spiliadis

From left to right: George Spiliadis, NYSPCC Children's Council Member Vicky Cornell, Chef Costa Spiliadis, NYSPCC Executive Director Mary Pulido, PhD, Deborah Norville, and her husband, Karl Wellner. Photo: Patrick McMullan/Courtesy of The NYSPCC

NEW YORK – The New York Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NYSPCC) held its sixth annual Food & Wine Gala on November 6 at The Metropolitan Club in Manhattan. Chef Costas Spiliadis, whose world-renowned Mediterranean-inspired restaurant Estiatorio Milos was the 2017 winner of The Concierge Choice Awards’ International Cuisine category, designed a one-of-a-kind menu for guests, and also donated all food. The exquisite cuisine was paired with world-class wines provided by George Spiliadis, the son of Chef Spiliadis and Founder of Cava Spiliadis.

Inside Edition anchor Deborah Norville, who is also a member of The NYSPCC’s Children’s Council, served as the evening’s host while Mary Pulido PhD, Executive Director of the NYSPCC, gave an inspirational speech about the NYSPCC’s work championing New York’s most vulnerable.

Renowned auctioneer Harry Santa-Olalla led the gala’s reverse auction, which raises crucial funding for The NYSPCC’s Trauma Recovery Program. The program offers a specialized therapeutic program for children, ages 5-18, who have experienced physical or sexual abuse, neglect, traumatic bereavement, or who have witnessed family violence. The Food & Wine Gala is one of the major fundraising events for the NYSPCC; the other being the annual Spring Luncheon, which in April 2018 featured an emotional guest speech by Olympic gymnast McKayla Maroney.

Executive Director of the NYSPCC Dr. Mary Pulido, Chef Costas Spiliadis, and Vicky Cornell, widow of Soundgarden’s frontman Chris Cornell. Photo: Patrick McMullan/Courtesy of The NYSPCC

“We are the first line of defense for vulnerable children and their families in New York City,” said Dr. Pulido, who delivered a powerful speech about the NYSPCC’s work. “Our Trauma Recovery Program provides life-saving counseling to children who have suffered unthinkable abuse, and we’re so grateful to everyone who attended this crucial event and contributed to their rescue and recovery.”

In her introduction to Chef Spiliadis, Deborah Norville said “He has been delighting guests on two continents up in Canada and here in the states and of course in his native country of Greece. He really elevated Greek cuisine to something that is really special, a delight to enjoy. He uses the freshest seafood, the freshest ingredients, the best stuff, and innovative ways of preparing his food. His son George is the founder of Cava Spiliadis and his interest and passion is bringing fabulous Greek wines to America.”

Chef Spiliadis said, “As the grandfather of 6, I understand the challenges that children face in this world which is becoming more cruel every day, unfortunately, and there is this responsibility we all have to make sure that we provide the protection and the warmth to these center of our society that is the most vulnerable, the children, so the NYSPCC is an organization that we must all support.”

George Spiliadis said he hoped everyone was enjoying the food and wine, noting that “tonight we’re serving wines from different areas of Greece. These are some of my favorites. We have wines from Crete, Santorini, and Northern Greece. We have some indigenous varietals that you’ve probably never tasted before, Assyrtiko, Malagoussia, please enjoy and thanks so much again.”

Spiliadis spoke with The National Herald at the event, noting that being a part of the NYSPCC’s Food & Wine Gala “is an honor, and as my father said, he’s the grandfather of six, I have three children and my sister has three. The children are the most important thing. It’s the least we can do to help this organization, helping children.”

NYSPCC Executive Director, Dr. Mary Pulido and Vicky Cornell, widow of Soundgarden’s frontman Chris Cornell. Photo: Patrick McMullan/Courtesy of The NYSPCC

Among those in attendance, Greek-American Vicky Cornell, the widow of Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell and a member of the NYSPCC’s Children’s Council, President of the NYSPCC’s Board Karl Wellner, Gilligan’s Island star Tina Louise, Delicatessen’s Executive Chef Michael Ferraro, who provided the NYSPCC’s exclusive Food & Wine Gala menu in 2017, Commissioner of the Administration for Children’s Services David Hansell, business executive and former Reuters CEO Tom Glocer and his wife, NYSPCC Board Member Maarit Glocer, and New York Jets offensive tackle Brent Qvale.

The New York Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NYSPCC) is one of the most highly respected child protective agencies in the world. Founded in 1875, the NYSPCC helps the most vulnerable children of our community recover from trauma. And, more importantly, it helps prevent child abuse through its work with parents, teachers, children and foster care agencies. The NYSPCC’s amazing work is used as a model for child abuse prevention centers across the nation. The NYSPCC has investigated more than 650,000 cases on behalf of over two million children and has educated over 47,000 professionals working with children on child abuse and neglect issues.

More information is available online: nyspcc.org.

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