The team behind Food Truckin’ for Josh Cares
Cincy Chic: How did the concept behind the event Food Truckin’ for Josh Cares get started?
Joy Blang, Executive Director of Josh Cares: In the early years of the organization, a handful of committed Josh Cares volunteers, who happened to be young professionals, provided great service and support in promoting Josh Cares in many ways. These dedicated volunteers helped recruit, organize and launch a Young Professional Council for Josh Cares in 2012. Once assembled, the group quickly determined they desired their service to be event focused. With a love of food trucks, and recognition that no taste-of-food-truck festival style event had ever been held on Downtown Cincinnati’s Fountain Square, the YP Council enthusiastically launched the first Food Truckin’ for Josh Cares event in June of 2013 to great success.
Cincy Chic: When and where can we find Food Truckin’ for Josh Cares?
Blang: The second annual Food Truckin’ for Josh Cares: Presented by General Mills and Kroger will be held on Fountain Square in Downtown Cincinnati on Wednesday, June 18 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The event is free and open to the public, and food tickets can be purchased for $2 each.
Cincy Chic: What are you offering event attendees?
Blang: The event truly has something for everyone, from families to downtown office workers to those looking for a unique meal, all in support of a good cause. Fox19’s Frank Marzullo will serve as the Master of Ceremonies for this year’s event, which will feature more than 10 unique and diverse food trucks to satisfy all palates. Broadcasting live from the event will be Warm98’s Bob and Marianne who will also lead the celebrity judging for the Golden Spatula Awards. Returning this year are 2013 food truck winners for “Best Entrée” (C’est Cheese) and “Best Sweet Treat” (SugarSnap! Sweet Treats).
Lunchtime visitors can also look forward to enjoying some of Cincinnati’s other premier food trucks which feature innovative cuisine such as Cajun, Korean, and southwestern, along with trucks who put their own delicious twist on traditional favorites such as sandwiches, barbecue and hot dogs. New to the event this year is the addition of the mobile fashion boutique Truck Shop.
Cincy Chic: What makes the event unique?
Blang: Food Truckin’ for Josh Cares is the only food truck festival in Cincinnati, with all proceeds benefiting the Josh Cares Child Life Program at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. As the days are getting warmer, the downtown live/work community enthusiastically embraces unique events and activities that take place on Fountain Square. Live music broadcast by Warm98, Frank Marzullo’s boundless energy engaging the crowds, incredible food, and the contagious enthusiasm of our volunteer Young Professional Council volunteers will all make for a memorable event.
In addition to presenting sponsors General Mills and Kroger, other lead sponsors like Definity Partners, Ohio National Financial Services, and Systems Evolution, Inc. offer generous support to secure the fundraising success of the event so that Josh Cares can continue to ensure that no seriously ill child feels alone and afraid in the hospital. In addition, Rockfish has put the event, and Josh Cares, on the map by dedicating $50,000 in agency time toward a comprehensive digital marketing strategy that includes social media,public relations and other promotions for Josh Cares and the event.
Cincy Chic: How much will food cost at the event?
Blang: Food Truckin’ for Josh Cares attendees can purchase Food Truck Bucks while standing in line to order from the trucks of their choice. Food Truck Bucks are sold in $2 a increments. Each truck will offer 1 or 2 entrees for $4 with many sides, desserts and drinks available for $2. We recommend purchasing $12 in Food Truck Bucks to fully enjoy a sampling of trucks.
Cincy Chic: Who does Food Truckin’ for Josh Cares benefit?
Blang: Food Truckin’ for Josh Cares benefits Josh Cares, a non-profit organization that fully funds the Josh Cares Child Life Program at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. Josh Cares is dedicated to ensuring that no critically or chronically ill children go through a hospitalization alone, without the support of a parent by their sides when they need it the most. At any given time, an average of 25+ critically ill children at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center are “alone.” Families from near and far face a myriad of insurmountable barriers that prevent them from being at the hospital day in and day out to provide the high level of comfort, support, and companionship their children desperately need to cope with the feelings of pain, fear and loneliness they experience throughout their lengthy treatment. Josh Cares funds six professionally trained Child Life Specialists in all critical and chronic care units, who serve as surrogates for, and links to, the families who would be by their sides if they could.
Cincy Chic: Where can readers go to learn more and get involved?
Blang: Readers can visit joshcares.org to learn all about Josh Cares and how to get involved, including event details for Food Truckin’ for Josh Cares. For the latest news and information, follow us on Facebook or Twitter.