Party with a purpose

Oh what a night! Share Our Strength’s Taste of the Nation Orlando 2012 was a blast.

If you were there, you know what I mean. If you missed it this year, let me try to paint a picture for you…

–    Over 2,300 guests made their way to the Orlando World Center Marriott last Saturday.

–    37 of Central Florida’s leading restaurants were there cooking up some good eats.
–    18 top wine and beverage providers made sure guests were not left thirsty.
–    Close to 200 silent auction items were bid on.
–    4 fabulous raffle prizes won.
–    150 keys were sold to open a door that unlocked a prize of 100 bottles of wine.
–    1 very exciting ‘Chef thrown down’ cooking contest sponsored by Creekstone Farms.
–    9 exotic trips sold at Taste of the Nation Orlando’s first ever live auction.
–    1 chef on stilts and 1 human statue.
–    2 great Emcees…Thanks Scott McKenzie from Mix 105.1 and Paco Lopez from Sunny 105.9!

And most importantly…

–    3 very happy and grateful beneficiaries.
–    Hundreds of thousands of families in need right here in Central Florida will be receiving lots of food.

Ready to hear the record breaking news? Taste of the Nation Orlando 2012 raised nearly $250,000 for our neighbors in need. How incredible is that? It takes a lot of hard work and dedication to put on such a successful event. There are 2 superheroes that we would like to thank. Our event chairs, Bill Sullivan and Michele Byington are volunteers that have yet again taken on the incredible task of organizing this event. Without their leadership, commitment, enthusiasm, and know-how …who knows what this event would look like. Bill and Michele couldn’t do this alone. There is an entire planning committee that worked long hours to ensure everything went smoothly. We cannot thank them enough. Bill, Michele, and the entire planning committee are all hunger heroes.

A special thanks goes out to our presenting sponsor, Darden Restaurants. In addition to Darden, major local sponsors included: The Orlando World Center Marriott, The Harris Rosen Foundation, Creekstone Farms, Walt Disney World, Regions Bank, Cadillac, BB&T, Hilton Grand Vacations, Randy Schimmlpfennig of Morgan & Morgan, Whole Foods Market, CBS Radio’s MIX 105.1 and 1059 SUNNY FM, and WFTV Channel 9 Family Connection.  Cadillac displayed three shiny new vehicles, one packed with 900 pounds of canned goods to represent the amount of food a $150 VIP ticket to the tasty event will purchase for hungry children.  National Taste of the Nation sponsors include: the Food Network, American Express, and Acqua Panna & San Pellegrino.

I already can’t wait until next year’s event! Thank you to everyone who supported Taste of the Nation 2012. I hope you had a fantastic night just like we did!

Thank you DSWfoto for these photos from Taste of the Nation:

Thank you Frank Mitchell Photography for these Taste of the Nation Photos:

Now let’s get to distributing this food!

Sasha Hausman
Development Manager


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