LANCASTER, Pa. (WHTM) — The Water Street Mission’s Health Services ministry provides free medical, dental, and behavioral health care for Lancaster residents in need. Every year, the community steps up to support Water Street Health Services in the annual Top Chefs fundraising event.
Water Street Health Services was started in 1993 by a single doctor working out of his closet, aiming to serve Lancaster’s homeless community, says Greg Kessler, vice president of Water Street Health Services. Today the organization serves thousands of patients each year through its dental clinic, medical clinic, and behavioral health partnerships.
Offering free health services for uninsured individuals or people who are otherwise unable to access healthcare, the organization works to protect the wellbeing of individuals facing poverty and homelessness in the county.
The Top Chefs fundraising event raises around 40% of Water Street Health Services’ operating budget annually. The event, which will take place outdoors at the Lancaster County Club this year, includes silent and live auctions, as well as a five-course meal featuring recipes from Lancaster chefs.
Daniel LeBoon, executive chef and partner at the Belvedere Inn, C’est La Vie, and Josephine’s will be preparing three hors d’oeuvres recipes for Top Chefs. “We just like supporting something that is giving back to the community because the community helped us when we were going through COVID,” LeBoon says.
John Marconi, executive chef at Lombardo’s, is providing a pasta dish recipe for the event. Marconi remembers volunteering at Water Street Mission in middle school, sorting shoes and serving pizza. “The Water Street Mission, they’re such an integral part of Lancaster and just a really good cause that we do want to support,” Marconi says.
Top Chefs is already sold out for this year. In fact, Kessler says the event has been sold out for the last three years, and tickets are gone around March. But those who still want to support Water Street Mission can donate online.
The event, which is typically held inside the Lancaster Country Club, will be outdoors this year to provide extra space for social distancing. It’s a change from last year when Water Street Mission held Top Chefs virtually due to the pandemic. Kessler is excited for the 2021 event.
“We’re just very grateful to our community for rallying behind us and supporting us throughout the last year,” says Kessler. “Health Services is just a critical part of our community, and we’re serving people every, every day.”
Water Street Health Services cares for the Lancaster community year-round, and on June 4, the community shows up to support Water Street Health Services.