Story By Chelsea Martin
Raising awareness is Shari Vogel’s
longtime mantra—and now her
daily objective, as this year’s
Taste of Kyrene’s co-chair.
Vogel was a volunteer of the event
for three years prior to accepting the
larger planning role this time around.
Taste of Kyrene was created to
raise funds for the Kyrene Foundation
which allocates its proceeds to families
in need and other initiatives. In this
year’s campaign, Vogel’s job is to help
educate the public concerning the
serious issue of having nearly 350
homeless students between the 25
schools in the Kyrene district.
“We live in a seemingly affluent
community, but every community is
affected by poverty, and we forget to
think about that,” Vogel said.
“Ahwatukee, Tempe and Chandler
are no exceptions. As members of
this community it is important for us
to make sure the students and their
families are receiving the support they
need to get back on their feet.”
At first, the numbers shook Vogel.
“It’s quite a shocking number.
When you’re aware of it you notice it
everywhere,” Vogel said.
Once comfortably rooted in the
foundation, Vogel realized exactly what
her duty was.
“I’ve really enjoyed attending
school events and discussing with
people what the foundation does,”
Vogel said. “It’s important for people
to know what’s going on in their
community and how they can help.”
Vogel along with her team of 10
volunteers, is anxious to showcase the
fresh perspective they have created for
this year’s T. The event in years past
has been held at the Ashley Manor
Castle, but this year it will be hosted by
the extra-spacious Foothills Golf Club,
7-10 p.m. Friday, Feb. 28.
“We wanted to make it a little
more fun and we wanted to add more
flavor from Kyrene into the event by
incorporating student entertainment
and making it a little more accessible
by changing it to a Friday night,” Vogel
Taste of Kyrene is an important
fundraiser for the Kyrene Foundation,
raising nearly $38,000 at last year’s
taste event. The funds raised, along
with other events such as an annual
golf classic, are designated for
specific initiatives such as Prevention
Services, which includes the Kyrene
Family Resource Center, character
education and the Kyrene Alternative
to Suspension Program; scholarships
to students in need; mini-grants to
teachers; and student- and employeerecognition
The foundation provides a vital
lifeline to the district because it exists
solely to raise funds for services and
programs that would otherwise be
unfunded or partially unfunded by the
Kyrene School District.
“Raising awareness is so
important because I’ve realized myself
that at first I didn’t really know what
the foundation did and there are so
many people out there that still don’t,”
Vogel said. “These children deserve
to be given the tools they need to be
successful in school and to lead happy,
The event is open to the public.
Tickets are $35 in advance or $50 at
the door. Purchase online at www.
If you would like to volunteer
or make a donation to the
Kyrene Foundation, visit www.