By Mark Ambrogi
Taste of Carmel had become so popular that a chancge in scenery was necessary.
The 14th annual Taste of Carmel, a fundraiser for Orchard Park Elementary School, will be held at 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. March 2 at the 502 East Event Centre, 502 E. Carmel Dr.. The first 13 years it was held at the Ritz Charles.
“We outgrew the space at Ritz Charles and this new venue will allow for our guests to have more room to visit vendors and socialize,” said Jenn Penix, chair of the event. “We are able to add an additional five vendors and more reserved seating as well.”
There will be samplings from more than 45 restaurants.
Penix said 100 percent of the proceeds go directly to the school. Proceeds come from tickets, sponsors, wine and gift card pulls, silent auction and a raffle.
“The support from the Carmel community in these areas is huge,” Penix said. “OPE could never, ever provide the level of programming and service to students and teachers without Taste of Carmel. Our fundraising goal this year is $40,000 and that will be used to fund visiting artists, additional MakerSpace Experiential Learning Labs, our Giving Tree and all annual programming.”
The visiting artists come in for a week or two to engage each student in art or music, Penix said.
Penix said the event is planned and executed by parent volunteers.
“It is an impressive undertaking for this group of about 15 moms, most of whom work fulltime as well,” Penix said.
This year’s event has a Hollywood theme.
“The teaching theme at Orchard Park this year is based on ‘every student is a star’ with a focus on Hollywood,” Pennix said. “At TOC, elements of Hollywood will be seen in our decorations, at our photo booth, and our centerpieces which will be made by OPE students in a Hollywood theme.”
General admission tickets are $30 for the event ages 21 and older. The First Taste, the VIP party, will be held from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. Attendance is limited to 150 guests. The First Taste features A Cut Above Catering owner/chef Amy von Eiff and pastry chef Rascia Johnson. Tickets are $75 and include early entry to Taste of Carmel.
For more, visit tasteofcarmelope.com.