Envision the setting: It is a beautiful spring or summer evening, you are surrounded by lush plants and colorful flowers in full bloom, servers glide by with trays of tasty tapas and sparkly drinks held aloft and deliver them to your elegantly set table while acoustic guitar music plays in the background, mingling with the sound of animated conversations. No, you are not on a tropical island; you are at Crabtree’s Kittle House for Sparkle for a Cause on a Tuesday, supporting a worthy charity while enjoying a night out.
Sparkle for a Cause is an organization sponsored by the Amy Marie Crabtree Foundation benefitting a wide variety of local, not-for-profit causes, such as brain and other cancer research, women and children’s issues, homeless shelters, helpless animals, and domestic violence, to name a few. The events take place in the picturesque Amy’s Garden, which, along with the foundation, are named for Amy Marie Crabtree, late wife of John Crabtree, owner of Crabtree’s Kittle House and president of Team Amy. She passed away in 2009 after a battle with brain cancer and the causes the Foundation supports were near and dear to her heart.
“She had always talked about fixing up the garden,” John Crabtree explains. Once Crabtree, along with the help of his sister, began the endeavor, word quickly spread throughout the community and offers of support came pouring in. “People donated time, fountains, a fire pit, and a group of neighbors had a plaque made,” he reports. He decided to incorporate charitable causes that were important to Amy.
Before long, Tuesdays became dedicated to charity. Restaurant patrons have the choice of eating outside in the garden (weather permitting), in the Tap Room or main dining room. If there is inclement weather the event is held indoors–it is never canceled. If diners identify themselves as supporting the Sparkle for a Cause event taking place, 30 percent of the proceeds (prior to tax and gratuity) from all participants are donated to the featured charity of the evening. Specialty wine-based as well as non-alcoholic drinks and tapas-styled appetizers are created for these events, but guests may order from the Tap Room or main dining room menus as well.
The SPCA, Chappaqua Children’s Book Festival, League of Women Voters and the Make a Wish Foundation are but a few of the local charities that have participated. Each August, there is a Backyard Barbeque at the Kittle House benefitting the foundation and charities representing their four core causes. Those charities are honored with the recognition of their diligent efforts and compassion, and each also receives a portion of the evening’s donations.
While Sparkle for a Cause was initially more of a ladies-night-out type of evening, it has evolved and now anyone from the community attends. It is perfect for date nights, group outings, friend get-togethers, or just a fun dinner out.
“I love the Kittle House, and supporting local nonprofits is important to me, so I have been going to Sparkle events since they started eight years ago. You never know who you will meet there so it’s a wonderful opportunity to bring the community together in support of the many local charities. A nice thing about it too is that you can feel comfortable coming alone and join a table because there is a great sense of community,” said Chappaqua resident Ronni Diamondstein.
Due to its growing popularity, reservations are highly recommended, particularly if you want to dine in Amy’s Garden where the entertainment is. If you are affiliated with a local charity interested in having your fundraising event there, there are some remaining dates available. Call the Kittle House (914-666-8044) or follow the link below for more information. Sparke events take place from June through the end of October. For more information, visit kittlehouse.com
Upcoming Sparkle for a Cause events:
|NAMI Westchester (National Alliance on Mental Illness)
|WIHD (Westchester Institute for Human Development)
|Girl Scouts Heart of the Hudson
|Chappaqua Children’s Book Festival
|Mt.Kisco Childcare Center
|Friends of Karen
|914 Cares /Kids Kloset
|League of Women Voters
|Mt. Kisco Interfaith Food Pantry
|Ronald McDonald House