Vail Today: Eagle River Youth Coalition’s largest fundraiser, Valley Tastings, set for Sept. 9 in Gypsum
By Tricia Swenson | Vail Today
Everything that the Eagle River Youth Coalition does is driven by one common value: making youth a community priority. That commitment to youth and their families has helped shape a new format for their 11th annual Valley Tastings event held Saturday, Sept. 9. “We have revamped Valley Tastings to be more inclusive for families and kids, to make it a true celebration,” shares Michelle Stecher, executive director of the Eagle River Youth Coalition. “We have more restaurants participating than ever and have created various ticket prices so more families can come,” said Stecher. Valley Tastings gives attendees an opportunity to try samples from many local restaurants and farm-to-table offerings. Menu items include crab beignets, rabbit meatball sliders, and a hunter’s chicken and sausage dish. The venue for the event has moved as well. “We’re excited to partner up with the Town of Gypsum and utilize the Lundgren Amphitheater. For many years this event was held up valley. A lot of kids in our program live down valley, so it’s fun to mix up the location,” said Stecher. The timing of the event has moved to earlier in the day, with lawn games and inflatable bounce houses for the kids and music by Hardscrabble, all taking place between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. Since 2001, the mission of the Eagle River Youth Coalition has been to collaborate with Eagle River youth-serving organizations to assess prevention needs, coordinate substance abuse reduction efforts, and build capacity through strategic plans, programs and policies around the issues facing young people. This event also celebrates young people with their annual Youth Awards. An adult in the community will also be honored with their Difference Maker award. Support the mission of the Eagle River Youth Coalition and enjoy the afternoon at Valley Tastings. For a list of restaurants, sponsors and how to get tickets, visit http://www.eagleyouth.org.