Sip. Savor. Dine.: Culinary experiences benefit Ryan House |
Sip. Savor. Dine.: Culinary experiences benefit Ryan House

Sip. Savor. Dine.: Culinary experiences benefit Ryan House

Photo by Studio Alcott

By Christina Fuoco-Karasinski

When Ryan House put its annual fundraiser, the White Christmas Gala, on the backburner due to COVID-19, the staff cooked up a new event—Sip. Savor. Dine. Culinary Experiences.

Through the end of January, patrons can peruse a menu to select from a wide array of options from a meal with a top chef or popular eateries.

“We were looking for something that people could do to still support Ryan House in a much safer way,” says Ryan House Executive Director Tracy Leonard-Warner.

“Everybody’s comfort level is different. We were looking for something that people could do now, if they feel comfortable. It gives them choices of restaurants or takeout, or they can hold on to the gift certificate.”

For $10,000, donors can have a personal dinner prepared by chef Alex Stratta from Stratta Kitchen in Scottsdale. A dining experience from places like Barrio Café, Café Monarch, Maple and Ash, and The Henry can be purchased for $5,000. Have a meal catered for $3,500 or a “family fun” package for $1,000. Finally, “accompaniments” is a curated collection of wine for $250.

“They all help support respite hours at the house, and the digital menu breaks down what they’re supporting,” Leonard-Warner says. “We felt it was important to keep that in mind.”

Patrons can go online and make their selection, or print a PDF order form if they’d rather send in a check.

Ryan House is a 12,500-square-foot home built to provide respite care, pediatric palliative care and end-of-life care as well as appropriate therapies and activities.

Ryan House’s programs address the emotional, spiritual and social needs of the family, continuity of care from diagnosis to end of life, expert care provided by its care partners and highly trained staff, and a loving community that offers ongoing support and compassion. Ryan House is the only facility of its kind in the state and only one of three in the country.

The home, located at 110 W. Muhammad Ali Way in Phoenix, was supposed to celebrate its 10-year anniversary in 2020, but the party was derailed due to COVID-19.

“We were supposed to have a community breakfast on March 27, and we were expecting about 1,000 people,” says Leonard-Warner, who previously worked for Hospice of the Valley.

“We had rescheduled it for August, but nobody knew in the middle of March that we were still going to be struggling with COVID-19. So, instead of having 1,000 people in a ballroom, we did a virtual breakfast and had more than 1,100 people watch.”

Ryan House Sip. Savor. Dine. Culinary Experiences, 480.653.4829,,, through Sunday, January 31, $250 to $10,000.