The Bautista family is just one of many, many examples that the SECU Family House, a hospitality house for both patients and caregivers from outside of Forsyth County receiving care at Winston-Salem hospitals, is such a tremendous gift to our community.
In early 2017, just hours after dinner celebrating Felix Bautista’s 28th birthday, his wife Holly woke up to find him not feeling well and exhibiting signs that something was definitely wrong. She called 911, and later at the hospital, it was determined that Felix had suffered a hemorrhagic stroke. He was given a 10-20% chance of living. Felix defied those odds by a long shot, but during his medical struggle spent 61 days in the hospital here in Winston-Salem. Holly stayed at the SECU Family House, giving her a caring, restful place to stay that was just minutes from the hospital.
“Knowing that I had a safe, comfortable and affordable place to sleep at night that wasn’t far from the hospital was huge,” Holly said. “Not only that, but it provided peace of mind for my husband as he was recovering.”
Their story—and so many others—continually reinforce the need for, and appreciation of, such a facility in our city. And major fundraising events like “Men Who Cook”—coming up on March 16th at Bridger Field House—support the work that the House does and the love, care, and shelter that it provides 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.
The event—now in its 4th year—brings together local male amateur chefs and their cooking teams, who battle it out to please the taste buds of nearly 400 hungry attendees. Participating chefs come from all sectors of the Winston-Salem community, from banking to clergy, lawyers to realtors, higher education to local media, and everything in between.
“We are thrilled that this event continues to be one that garners such wonderful support for our House,” said Kathy Carr, Executive Director of SECU Family House. “The kitchen is definitely the heart of our homes, and meal preparation is such a large part of the services that Family House provides its guests. We love bringing families together over food, and we couldn’t have found a better way to celebrate our mission of providing assistance to adult patients and caregivers who are going through difficult health crises.”
The Family House, which is conveniently located near Winston-Salem’s two major hospitals and their surrounding medical clinic areas, has served as home base for folks from 95 North Carolina counties and 42 states and has welcomed more than 32,000 overnight guests since opening its doors in 2011. When families come to our area with their loved ones for medical treatment—whether planned or in emergency situations—the Family House provides a welcoming, comfortable atmosphere for rest, food, community and more.
There is a small overnight fee for guests, and a Family House assistance fund is in place, thanks to faithful donations and events like the Men Who Cook fundraiser.
Each year, Men Who Cook chefs create their own recipes, ranging from appetizers to desserts, and may utilize a sous chef during the event. They provide samples of their fares for attendees to enjoy, and for several prizes to be won. Early online voting will be available, as well. Last year alone, the Men Who Cook event raised nearly $140,000 for the SECU Family House!
Make plans to join us on March 16th when Winston-Salem’s own will roll up their sleeves and get to work for a great cause!
SECU Family House “Men Who Cook”
Saturday, March 16th – 6:30-9:00 pm
Bridger Field House, Winston-Salem
Wooden Spoon sponsorships are available for $250, which include two reservations and a listing in the souvenir program. Event reservations are $75 for a single ticket, $140 for couples. Contact Tracy Geiger at the SECU Family House at 336-793-2822 or firstname.lastname@example.org.