HACKETTSTOWN, NJ - Three celebrity chefs will be the featured guests of this year’s “An Evening of Wine and Roses,” the annual fundraiser benefitting the Newton Medical Center Foundation. The event will take place on Thursday, May 28, from 5:30 pm. to 9:30 p.m. at Centenary College’s David and Carol Lackland Center, 715 Grand Avenue, Hackettstown.

The event each year draws hundreds of guests to sample wines and culinary delights from some of the finest restaurants and wineries throughout north and western New Jersey.

This year’s featured guests boast impressive expertise in both food and wine:

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  • Viola Buitoni, a seasoned culinary instructor and direct descendant of the family that co-founded the famed pasta and chocolate company, Perugina. An Italian native who  later moved to San Francisco, she is currently the resident culinary expert for San Francisco’s Italian Cultural Institute and hosts in-depth culinary workshops at the Italian Consulate
  • Ashton Keefe, a classically trained chef, culinary instructor and author who has been featured on Food Network’s Guy vs. Rachel, BetterTV and Potluck Video. Keefe also writes and edits for numerous publications and works with brands such as Euphrates Cheese, Simi Winery, Moet & Chandon and Sutter Home Winery
  • Kathy Wakile, a wife, mother, businesswoman and cast member on the Real Housewives of New Jersey. She regularly serves as an Honorary Professor & Ambassador Chef at the L'Ecole Culinaire. She is also owner of Indulge by Kathy Wakile, which includes desserts, specialty coffees and more

“Having not just one, but three successful culinary figures and entrepreneurs like Viola, Ashton and Kathy as our special guests is a great honor and we are excited for the experiences they will share with visitors at this year’s event,” said Megan Sandow, chief development officer for the Newton Medical Center Foundation.

Heather Childers, co-host of FOX News Channel's FOX & Friends First, will also emcee the event. Childers joined the network in 2010, and has covered major events throughout America and overseas.

At this year’s event, the chefs will meet with guests at 5:30 p.m. in a special VIP area appearance made possible by RoNetco Supermarkets, Inc., and Wakefern Food Corporation. The appearance will also include a cooking demonstration by Buitoni.

The event, the Foundation’s largest annual fundraiser, this year benefits “The Year of Women’s Health – 15 for Women,” Annual Fund Campaign, in which Newton Medical Center will be highlighting women’s contributions to the health and well-being of their families and their communities throughout 2015.

The campaign seeks to also raise essential funds that will help Newton Medical Center remain on the forefront of medical and technological advances, enhance its programs, services and facilities and most importantly, support its mission to deliver high-quality, safe, affordable patient care within a healing culture.

The centerpiece project of the campaign is the Center for Breast Health at Newton Medical Center. Due to open later this year, the center will address all of a woman’s breast health needs including state of the art technology, resources, education, support and follow up care.

The Center for Breast Health will provide all the mammography imaging services for women in a spa-like, caring environment which will include the most state-of-the-art methods of diagnosing breast cancer, including digital breast tomosynthesis. Sometimes referred to as a three-dimensional mammogram, DBT is a diagnostic tool that can detect small breast tumors, while decreasing false positives and the need for repeat mammograms.

The event will also feature live music by Tom Askin. A Sparta native, Askin has spent 15 years touring nationwide with his band Alaskan, as well as with Boulder, Colorado-based national recording artists The Samples. Askin has since opened PonderRosa Studios, a state-of-the-art recording facility in Lafayette, NJ.

Community members are also invited to purchase 50/50 raffle tickets for a cash prize of $50,000.

Tickets to this year’s event are $125 per person.  VIP tickets can be purchased for $225 each or $375 per couple.  To make a donation or to order tickets from Newton Medical Center, call or email the Newton Medical Center Foundation at 973-579-8309 or nmc.foundation@atlantichealth.org.