This year’s Taste of Kyrene hit a new milestone: it was the Kyrene Foundation’s most successful fundraiser ever. It also represented the first time in recallable history that a single, $10 bid by a local city council member netted the top auction prize, a weeklong Puerto Vallarta vacation.
With 400 guests at the Feb. 24 event, district volunteers, primed and prodded by MarJean Steinkamp, raised more than $45,000 through ticket sales, auctioned-off baskets, raffle tickets and silent-auction treasures, the latter of which accounted for $20,000 of the total.
Superintendent Dr. David Schauer addressed the guests, noting several major programs had been implemented in years past as a result of efforts by the Kyrene Foundation, a not for profit 501(c)3 tax-exempt organization that sponsored this year’s event.
Proceeds from the glitzy, $80-per-couple event, held at Ashley Manor in west Chandler, will benefit all 25 Kyrene schools and the Kyrene Family Resource Center.
Funding will go to various preventive efforts; staff-, student- and friend-recognition and awards; and student scholarships for extra-curricular and student-enrichment programs such as sports, arts and academic support.
Tempe Councilman Corey Woods won the raffle’s grand prize of an $1,800 Puerto Vallarta vacation, not including transportation; George Keeley won the North Pole Experience vacation.
Overall, the event was considered a major success for the district that Schauer said will help Kyrene schools to maintain existing programs and implement new ones, all focused on increasing the educational experience for students.
Among providers of meals at a smorgasbord of chef stations were Chef Shortay (Alyssa Miller), Chelsea’s Custom Cakes, Fired Up Grill, Honey Bear’s BBQ, Rubio’s Fresh Mexican Grill, Pita Jungle, Vincitorio’s, Von Hanson’s Meat Market, Nothing Bundt Cakes, Great Harvest Bread Co., Rock Bottom, Macayo’s Mexican Kitchen, Dunkin’ Donuts, Jason’s Deli, Thai Basil, Jimmy and Joe’s Pizzeria, Chick-fil-A Chandler Festival, Sweet Tomatoes, Jamba Juice, Rotolo’s Pizzeria and Marie Callender’s.