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Carpenter’s Shelter Annual Cook-Off Returns to the Birchmere Celebrating 35 Years Helping the Homeless

Alexandria’s Signature Tasting Event!

Auction Winner Yolonda Higdon in a previous Carpenter’s Cook-Off. (Photo: Carpenter’s Shelter)

Alexandria, VA – Carpenter’s Shelter is celebrating its 35th anniversary of service and dedication to Alexandria’s homeless neighbors by celebrating with a “Big Birthday Bash and Cook-Off All-Stars.”  This signature tasting event will be back where it all started at the Birchmere on Sunday, October 29th, from 12:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Participants can sample and judge delicacies from top-rated local restaurants and caterers including Rockland’s BBQ, Wagon Wheel, What the Chef, Nando’s Peri-Peri Chicken, Ruby’s Jamaican Kitchen, and many more. “We will also have live music from the Jones Point Band, fun activities for kids at the Children’s Corner, and opportunities to bid, bid, bid during the live and silent auctions,” says Monise Quidley, a development associate at Carpenter’s.

Attendees vote for the coveted People’s Choice and Kid’s Choice Awards for Best Savory and Best Sweet dishes. There will be celebrity judges too. You can join this fun-filled, family-friendly event that helps support over 700 children, women, and men experiencing homelessness in Alexandria. Your support will directly help these families and individuals work towards permanent homes where adults are stable, and children can grow and thrive.

Pork Barrel BBQ’s Bill Blackburn serves up their best in a previous year. (Photo: Carpenter’s Shelter)

“Our generous sponsors make this event possible, including our Top Chef Sponsor, Passport Auto,” says Shannon Tud Steene, Executive Director.

There’s still time to become a 35th Anniversary Sponsor as well! Please contact Monise Quidley, Director of Development at (703)-548-7500 ext. 203 or email MQuidley@Carpen​​ for more information.

People can also help by donating items to the silent auction, raffles, and baskets. “We welcome a wide range of auction items, such as unique experiences, artwork, travel packages, gift certificates, exclusive products, or any other item that you believe would captivate our attendees,” says Quidley.  If you are interested in donating an item to be included in our auction, please contact Meghan Cole, at MCole@Carpenter​ or call (703)-548-7500 ext. 204.


Tickets are $50 apiece ($20 for kids) and can be purchased now at

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Mary Wadland

Mary Wadland is the Publisher and Editor in Chief of The Zebra Press, founded by her in 2010. Originally from Delray Beach, Florida, Mary is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Hollins College in Roanoke, VA and has lived and worked in the Alexandria publishing community since 1987.

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