Help make wishes come true with delicious dishes

Good Works: Anna Ferguson

Are you aware of an event or project that benefits our community? Contact Anna Ferguson at 770-963-9205, ext. 1308, or anna.ferguson@gwinnettdailypost.com.

Brooks Boenig has fallen in love. He is absolutely mad about the herb-crusted rack of lamb served at Maggiano's Little Italy.

"Oh my gosh, without a doubt, it is just amazing," Boenig said.

And now that his favorite dish comes with a side of good will, he loves them even more.

Now through June 27, the restaurant will offer Eat-A-Dish for Make-A-Wish, a special promotional menu that is part of their collaboration with the Make-A-Wish Foundation. During the four-week promotion, $1 from the sale of select menu items will be donated to the charity.

The menu will include the aforementioned rack of lamb, as well as a goat cheese and olive bruschetta appetizer, shrimp and scallops with orzo entree and a dessert of berry tiramisu.

"The menu items in the Make-A-Wish promotion are things we don't normally feature on our menu," said Boenig, marketing manager for Maggiano's. "It's like a special treat to be able to serve these items. And these are spectacular foods."

The menu isn't fixed and customers can order any number of the selections.

The Make-A-Wish Foundation works to make dreams come true for terminally ill children. Teaming with the foundation was a natural fit for the restaurant's philosophies and ideals.

"At Maggiano's we try to make very customer feel special," Boenig said. "That is exactly what Make-A-Wish does, too."

Maggiano's has been a partner in the Make-A-Wish campaign for the past three years, raising nearly $100,000 each year. This year, the restaurant is looking to outdo itself.

"We are hoping that each restaurant will be able raise enough funds to support one wish, which averages about $6,000," Boenig said. "Past years have been very successful, and this year, we're going for even more."

Customers can also make donations through the Become a Star program. Maggiano's will display star cut-outs bearing the participating guest's name during the four-week promotion. Limited-edition Make-A-Wish Gift Cards will also be on sale, with $1 from each purchase going to the foundation.

Maggiano's has locations at 4400 Ashford Dunwoody Road, Atlanta; 3368 Peachtree Road, Atlanta; and 1601 Cumberland Mall, Atlanta. Visit www.maggianos.com.

Elementary school raises hopes

for the troops

In celebration of Armed Forced Day, Mountain Park Elementary School and Mountain Park Park collaborated to support American troops with a day-long celebration on May 19.

The Parkview ROTC color guard raised the flag, and the Twisted Timber band as well as David Leinweber performed for the crowd. During the festivities, students collected dozens of greeting cards and letters, and participants recorded 100 audio messages for the troops.

On May 24, the students gathered at Baranco Pontiac GMC to present the messages they'd collected. Additional cards and messages can be dropped off at any GMC dealership, and the CD messages and written greetings will be shipped to soldiers in Iraq this month. For more information, call 678-641-9188.

Racing event to aid MS center

The Multiple Sclerosis Center of Atlanta will host Racing Against MS from 6 to 10 p.m. Monday at The Foundry at the Puritan Mill, 916 Lowery Blvd., Atlanta. During the fundraising event, guests will be able to testing driving skills on the race car reaction time simulator, and honorary chair Robert Burgin, a National Hot Rod Racing Association race car driver, will be on hand. Tickets are $50 per person. The cost for children ages 5 to 12 is $25 and children under 4 years old are admitted free. Call 404-697-7346, 404-351-0205 or visit www.mscatl.org.

Golf classic will help fragile kids

The Derek Rackley Celebrity Golf Classic will be held at 8:30 a.m. Monday at the Legends Course at Chateau Elan in Braselton. The classic is a fundraiser for Fragile Kids Foundation and the R.A.C.K. Foundation. The cost for individual entry is $350 and sponsor levels start at $1,000. Call 770-951-6113.

Food banks will observe Hunger Awareness Day

The Faith Alliance of Metro Atlanta and the Atlanta Community Food Bank will join forces with food banks in Chicago, New York, Los Angeles and more than 170 other cities nationwide Tuesday to commemorate Hunger Awareness Day, a national observance. The Atlanta branches of the campaign will host Faces of Hunger and Hope, an interfaith service, at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Atlanta Community Food Bank, 732 Joseph E. Lowery Blvd., Atlanta. Visit www.ACFB.org.

Rock out for RAINN

RAINN, the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network, will hold a benefit concert at 8 p.m. Friday at The Loft, 1374 W. Peachtree St., Atlanta. Kate Earl, Jupiter Watts, Alan Yates Band and Nathan Beaver are slated to perform. The concert will raise funds for RAINN, the nation's largest anti-sexual assault organization, and the National Sexual Assault Online Hotline. Tickets are $12 in advance, and $15 at the door. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. Call 404-885-1365 or visit www.theloftatl.com or www.rainn.org.

Dine out for

March of Dimes

The March of Dimes annual Dining Out fundraising event will be held Friday at participating area restaurants. As part of the fundraiser, participants enjoy a dinner and wine pairing created by the executive chefs at more than 50 of the city's restaurants. An after-party will be held at 9 p.m. at Lotus Lounge, 2240 Piedmont Road N.E., Atlanta. Reservations are requested. For a list of participating restaurants or for information, call 404-350-9800, ext. 203, or visit www.marchofdimes.com/georgia.

First Nail event held in Winder

Habitat for Humanity's First Nail event, a kickoff for construction on the new Williamson Street house, will be held at 9 a.m. Saturday at 63 Williamson St., Winder. Call 770-995-1690.

Bake a wish

for charity

Blending, sugar, flour, chocolate and lots of kindness, Bake Me A Wish is joining forces with the Make-A-Wish Foundation for Project Wish Cake.

For the campaign, the online cake retailer will contribute a percentage of sales from Father's Day cake orders to the foundation. Based out of New York City, Bake-A-Wish is a nationwide gourmet gift cake provider that can ship a cake to almost any desired location.

For the Father's Day's promotion, the retailer will offer the Vanilla Bean Cake. The rich, two-layer yellow cake is filled with vanilla whipped cream mousse, covered with buttercream and garnished with white chocolate and more mousse. A personalized chocolate plaque that says "Happy Father's Day" completes the treat. Cakes measure 7 inches in diameter and serve six to eight people.

The Father's Day cakes cost $39.99. Visit Bakemeawish.com.