The Temecula Valley Foundation for Excellence in Education (TVFEE), in partnership with the Temecula Valley Unified School District and Temecula, will sponsor its third annual Taste of Temecula Valley from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday, April 27 at Town Square Park, located at 41000 Main Street, Old Town Temecula.
Proceeds will benefit the more than 29,000 students in Grades K-12 in Temecula schools by providing funding for art, science, and technology programs. Admission is $10 per person and children 12 and under are free.
“We need the community, especially parents and families, to understand that, when you support this event, you support all schools in the district. The funds we raise from events like Taste of Temecula Valley benefit students by allowing us to offer summer school enrichment and after-school classes, as well as classroom grants available for teachers at all Temecula schools,” said Mark Katan, Taste of Temecula Valley chairperson and TVFEE vice president, fundraising.
In December 2012, TVFEE presented 51 educators in the Temecula district with funds to support 56 programs benefiting students at 19 sites.
Called “mini grants,” the awards ranged in value from $50 – $500, and totaled over $18,000. This was the second series of grants funded by TVFEE; the foundation awarded $17,000 in grants to schools in 2011.
“We believe the concept of a community taste – an event that brings the best restaurants, wineries, and microbreweries from Temecula Wine Country and Southern California together in one location – is a worthwhile endeavor. Patrons pay an admission fee, then small (usually $2) tasting fee to sample food and drink they might otherwise never try. It is great exposure for our sponsors and vendors, and it’s an easy, fun way to raise much-needed funding for classrooms. We are doing this for the kids, and there is virtually no overhead, as we are an all-volunteer organization,” Katan noted.
The Taste of Temecula Valley committee is reaching out to area restaurants, wineries, and microbreweries to seek their participation, and the foundation is looking for corporate sponsors who want to lend their financial support. One of the newest TVFEE partners and Taste of Temecula Valley sponsors is Deal Palooza, owned by Amber and Mike Mamian, who couldn’t be more excited to lend their expertise to this year’s event. A Murrieta-based company, Deal Palooza delivers local deals of 50 to 90 percent off area places to shop, dine, and play straight to members’ email inboxes. There is no cost to become a Deal Palooza member, and the company is well known for its support of area schools.
“Since we launched Deal Palooza in March 2012, we’ve given thousands of dollars back to schools in districts across the Inland Empire,” Mamian stated. “Personally and professionally, we believe in giving back to our community, and we like the fact that everything TVFEE does is for our kids. First with Smart Card, now Deal Palooza, our business has been fortunate to work and grow in this area, and we want our participating restaurants and customers to know we support the Taste of Temecula Valley,” she added.
“Based on exit interviews at last year’s event and Amber’s recommendations, we are changing the hours for this year’s Taste of Temecula Valley, adding more family-friendly activities, and putting the emphasis back on food and drink offerings,” Katan said.
“We will still feature local entertainers, but we want to provide something you can’t get anywhere else – a unique tasting opportunity. We are focusing on a wider array of sit-down restaurants, with a greater diversity of menu items. We also want to reach out to the growing microbrew community to supplement our wine and taste offerings,” he added.
Vendors interested in being involved in this year’s event can contact Katan at 951-283-5305 or Mamian, who is spearheading taste participants at 951-775-7253. For more information on the Temecula Valley Foundation for Excellence in Education, see its website at www.tvfee.org.
*Contributed by Temecula Valley Foundation for Excellence in Education