ATLANTIC CITY — Attendees enjoyed mouth-watering dishes while simultaneously helping children in need in the resort during the 17th annual Men R’ Cookin’ event Wednesday at Harrah’s Resort.

The money raised through the fundraiser supports the operation of the Boys & Girls Club of Atlantic City on Pennsylvania Avenue.

It also supports and impacts five youth-based program areas: education and career development, health and life skills, character and leadership, sports recreation, and arts.

Phil Eisenstein, 30, of Ventnor, attended the event for the first time. His grandmother, Toni Eisenstein, 81, of Margate, had been attending, and she finally convinced her daughter, Melissa Eisenstein, and grandson to come.

“I wasn’t expecting something so big,” said Eisenstein, who added he will return in future years. “It’s for a good cause.”

Spread through Harrah’s Waterfront Convention Center were stations with different appetizers, healthy options, entrees, desserts and soup and salad.

Among the entrees were BBQ ribs and chicken ‘n’ waffles. The appetizers included meatless tacos, shrimp ceviche and Philly soft pretzel cheesesteak bombs with IPA white cheddar.

Mark Milnicsuk, 38, of Toms River, attended for the first time last year and was back for more this year.

“This year’s portions are significantly larger (than last year’s),” said Milnicsuk, who was sitting in the VIP section with his wife, Kelly. “We are trying to pace ourselves.”

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Twenty years as a staff writer in the features department, specializing in entertainment and the arts at The Press of Atlantic City.

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