Cary, NC—The third annual ExpressionsA Celebration of Food and Art, benefiting the Lucy Daniels Center’s Family Support Fund, raised more than $113,000 through sponsorships, ticket sales, and the evening’s silent and live auctions.  The event sold out for the second year in a row.

Held October 11, 2013, at The Umstead Hotel and Spa in Cary, Expressions engaged the evening’s guests in the creative collaboration of fine jazz and fine cuisine and raised more than $113,000 for the Center’s Family Support Fund, which helps close the gap between what families can afford to pay for the Center’s child mental health services and their actual cost. 

Guests were treated to insights from a featured artist of extraordinary talent and visibility: six-time GRAMMY Award nominee Nnenna Freelon. With more than a dozen albums and many notable collaborations to her credit, Ms. Freelon proved to be an inspired choice for this event. Chef Scott Crawford, one of the masterminds behind the event concept, shares “What I hope people feel when they experience the dish are some of the things I felt by being around Nnenna, spending time with her and being inspired by her. She is very warm and you are very comfortable with her immediately and I’m thinking the dish will be the same.”

Expressions explored several themes in Ms. Freelon’s work culminating in a five-course dinner prepared by Scott Crawford, The Umstead’s executive chef, and a team of renowned chefs: Curtis Duffy, chef-owner of Grace restaurant in Chicago, IL; Steven D. Greene of An Cuisines in Cary, NC; Daniel Benjamin, pastry chef of The Umstead Hotel and Spa and Herons; and Francisco Almaguer, pastry chef of An Cuisines. The chefs worked closely with Ms. Freelon in preparation for the meal.

Speaking of her experience, Ms. Freelon states, “I am honored to be selected as the featured artist forExpressions and to support and celebrate a cause I care deeply about: the healthy development of young children. Working with this group of lauded chefs and having my musical expressions represented so—deliciously!—is a unique opportunity for me as an artist.”

Honorary co-chairs for this year’s event were Candace and Michael Olander, who serve on the Board of Directors and Board of Advisors, respectively.

Learn more about Lucy Daniels Center at


Now in its third decade of service to children and families, the Lucy Daniels Center is a nationally recognized model for childhood mental health education and services. The Center is the largest and most comprehensive non-profit focused on providing mental health services to young children and their families in the Triangle and is conveniently located at 9003 Weston Parkway, Cary, NC 27513. For more information, visit