Popular mac 'n cheese fundraiser in Cleveland helps provide service dogs to kids in Northeast Ohio

Posted at 9:41 AM, Feb 21, 2019

CLEVELAND — Get your tickets now for the Mac ‘n Cheese Throwdown this weekend in Cleveland because it's for a great cause. The popular event sells out fast, featuring 30 of Cleveland's top restaurants competing for the best dish.

We caught up with Mad Mac's in Lakewood. The head chef is a mom and they say that's the winning ingredient to the beloved comfort food.

"It's mom's mac n cheese," said David Bumba, owner of Mad Mac's. "So, it's coming from a place of love. It's made with care."

The throwdown is an important fundraiser for Wags 4 Kids. The nonprofit provides mobility and autism service dogs to children in Northeast Ohio. They say revenue from the event makes up about a third of their annual budget.

Sera Nelson says the fundraiser helps them train these special companions.

"We are planning for the tools that these children are going to be carrying with them for the next 10 years of their lives, and all of the possibilities that they're able to use them to grow and develop, and inspire their dreams," she said. "This is their best friend. This is their partner, their sidekick.

Last year, the Mac N' Cheese Throwdown raised $70,000 for WAGS 4 Kids. This year, they're hoping to raise even more.

Sera says 30 kids are on the waiting list for a service dog. She says takes 18 to 22 months to train them, and they place about eight dogs a year.

She says they are so grateful for all their community partners and the public who come out to support this event.

Get your tickets and more info on the event here.

The event is Saturday, Feb. 23 from 12 to 3:30 p.m. at Public Hall, 500 Lakeside Avenue East.