Taste of Vail donates nearly $30,000 to local charities | VailDaily.com
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Taste of Vail donates nearly $30,000 to local charities

Daily Staff Report
Special to the DailyLee Jones, recreation director for the Youth Foundation, with some of his athletes. Taste of Vail, a culinary festival that happens each year in April, donated $10,000 to the Youth Foundations Academic Soccer Club.
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VAIL Local kids are the greatest beneficiaries of funds generated this year by the nations premier culinary and wine festival.Organizers of Taste of Vail announce the recent distribution of $29,300 in proceeds from the 16th annual festival, which took place in April, to a dozen local charities. I think this is fantastic, said Paul Ferzacca, owner and executive chef at Vails La Tour restaurant, as well as a member of the festivals board of directors. Its really nice to see this all come together, with one of the best events in the country giving money to programs that do a lot of good around here. Thats what its all about.Ten thousand dollars went to the newly created Taste of Vail Educational Scholarship, a joint effort with Eagle County Schools and ProStart, a culinary and hospitality education program administered by the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation. Four Battle Mountain High School students who participated in the ProStart program this year seniors Andy McNeill and Melissa Hines and juniors Colby Lefebvre and Cam Lewis received $2,000 each to help pay for college tuition and expenses in their future culinary and hospitality studies. I cant tell you how much we all appreciate what Taste of Vail has done for us, said Sharon Wible, who teaches the ProStart class at Battle Mountain High School. The kids are so excited to receive these scholarships. Theyre extremely thankful, and so are their parents.Taste of Vail also donated $10,000 to the Youth Foundations Academic Soccer Club. The program, serving more than 350 students a week from Eagle Countys four middle schools, provides literacy-based academic guidance, as well as participation in an organized soccer league, for those identified as at risk when they are away from school.The biggest draw of all for kids here in the Vail Valley is soccer, but this program doesnt receive the funding a lot of others do, said Lee Jones, recreation director for the Youth Foundation, who administers the Academic Soccer Club. Taste of Vails donation will help with scholarships and allow us to broaden the net.The balance of Taste of Vails proceeds this year was distributed among the following local charitable programs (in alphabetical order):Border to Border USA.Cancer Caring House.Casino Night.The Expeditionary Learning Outward Bound program at Minturn Middle School.The Literacy Project.The Red Ribbon Project.Sonnenalp of Vail Foundation.Vail Mountain Rescue.The Vail Jazz Foundation. Vail Valley Home Health Care & Mountain Hospice.Taste of Vail itself is a nonprofit organization. The festival, now in its 17th year, has contributed more than $330,000 to Vail Valley charities; in 2005, in conjunction with Ritz-Carlton, the Taste of Vail donated $13,000 to the Hurricane Katrina relief fund.The 17th annual Taste of Vail is scheduled for April 11-15. For more information about Taste of Vail, visit http://www.tasteofvail.com or call 926-5665.Vail, Colorado


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