Pat Ciarrocchi, former CBS3 Eyewitness News anchor, shared her inspirational stories with more than 130 guests in Yangming banquet room on April 24. Tasty Talks founder and host Michelle Leonard welcomed an audience which included authors, fashion designers, publishers, acclaimed chefs, successful entrepreneurs, and media celebrities.
Ciarrocchi’s Tasty Talk raised more than $1,500 in support of Gaudenzia that operates 169 drug and alcohol treatment programs and serves about 17,000 individuals annually.
Pat began her moving story with her retirement from the news, just one month after her unforgettable reporting of the Pope’s visit to Philadelphia: “After leaving broadcasting, I needed to stay engaged. So I hosted webinars for Channel 3 – and Channel 10. The first time I entered the Channel 10 offices, my heart was racing like I was in “enemy territory.” Then I got my first check from them, and I knew I was fine.”
“My 91-year-old mom has been my greatest cheerleader. She has late stage dementia, and has good days and bad days, but her love is intact. There’s great joy in being able to connect to that love. If I was still working, I’d miss those times.”
“But when you love life, you don’t retire. So I asked myself, what more could I do? As a Master of Ceremonies for many Gaudenzia fund-raising events, I’d learned that addiction treatment works. I have close friends and a cousin who lost a child to opioid addiction, and Gaudenzia is more vital than ever in helping men and women find a new quality of life. So I’m here today with my friend Yolanda Hunter, who went through Gaudenzia’s program, and she will share her powerful story.”
Yolanda Hunter then shared her touching experience with the Tasty Talk audience who hung on her every word. “I was not happy to be in treatment. It was just me, myself, and the reality that I had to change. My first 60 days were an emotional roller coaster. But I began to take personal responsibility for my life…… Since completing treatment, I’ve graduated from college and became a certified Recovery Specialist. Now I travel the country to share my story, carrying the pride of being a Gaudenzia graduate like an Olympic torch.”
After Yolanda spoke, Pat announced the winners of a raffle for four fabulous Phillies tickets generously donated by her brother, and a Lilly Pulitzer gift basket. It was very inspiring to see the passion that Pat brought to her new mission – and to every guest. Raffle winners were Laura Amato and Andrea Drucquer.
Tasty Talk founder and host, Michelle Leonard, has just confirmed that she booked Tracy Davidson, NBC10 News Today anchor and 11 Emmy Award winner, as the Tasty Talk speaker at Yangming on May 15. The charity beneficiary of the next Tasty Talk is the Montgomery Child Advocacy Project.
Yangming owner Michael Wei added that, “the new feature of having a charity raffle to add to the total donation has proven to be very successful. The attendees totally loved it.”
Hors d’oeuvres will begin at 12:30, followed by Tracy’s Talk and lunch. Just $25 ($30 at the door, if seats available) covers a wonderful family-style lunch, dessert, tax and tip, and charitable contribution. Last two Tasty Talks sold out quickly. Reserve your seats now.