Ithaca Blog

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Taste of the Nation, June 17: A Nice Party For You, Steady Food For Kids

Chances are if someone asked you to find twenty five cents a day for the next year to give to a proven great program to help feed kids, you would do it.

But what if they threw in the following: you can donate it at a party where scores of great local restaurants, vintners, and breweries will have unbelievably great food and drink for you, to thank you? Plus, they'll throw in a band at the end, to dance the night away?

That's the deal at the annual Taste of the Nation event, on Tuesday 17 June. The event is nation-wide, with hundreds of cities raising funds the same night for hungry kids.

Ithaca is one of the smallest cities to hold one of these events. Generally, only bigger cities have enough culinary talent to make them feasible. Here in Ithaca, we fease: here we come, with spatulas flailing. There is a persistent canard that Ithaca has more restaurants per capita than any other city in the U.S. Maybe, maybe not, but we have a lot, and that means a lot of talent, and the best of the best are at this event, representing. Don't forget, of course, about the wineries, that incredible, rare resource we are blessed with, and have cultivated so well, better and better all the time.

Here's another selling point. You can come as you want and will, but a lot of people take this event as an excuse to dress up. At least a little. This is a fairly rare thing in Ithaca. So it is a night of a certain panache, not to mention sexiness, if we may be so bold. It is a lot of fun. Like a wedding or so, you know, that level of good food, good drink, good-looking, smiling people.

Of course, let's remember the raison d'etre: to fund programs for hungry children. What's not to love about that. The work of scores of volunteers, and the largesse of the business co-sponsors for the event (SYSCO Foods; and, entirely locally, the wonderful Strebel Planning Group, financial caretakers and advisors for businesses and individuals) means that 100% of your $100 ticket price goes directly to these programs.

It's a great night. Treat yourself while helping children. $100 is a high tariff, in Ithaca, but remember, it's about a quarter a day between this event and the one next year. Not a lot to ask. Especially as much as it helps. And, tell you what, special for readers of Ithaca Blog: order tickets online, using Ambassador Code DOWD (for our friend, ticket-seller Jyl Dowd), and get 20% off your ticket price. for details

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