Valley Tastings event at the Westin in Avon |

Valley Tastings event at the Westin in Avon

Special to the Daily

AVON, Colorado Taste culinary creations from 13 local chefs at the second annual Valley Tastings: Food for Youth event, which has moved to a new Avon location at the The Westin Riverfront Resort & Spa. The event is slated for Thursday at 6:30 p.m. and will take place in the Riverside Ballroom. This evening out will benefit the local nonprofit agency, The Eagle River Youth Coalition (The ERYC, sponsors and participating restaurants include: Avondale, Batter Cupcakes, Dish, Columbine Bakery, Juniper, The French Press, Main Street Grill, Markos, Matthews, Rick & Kellys, Ristorante Ti Amo, Ticino, Vin 48 and The Westin Riverfront Resort & Spa.The ERYC is honored to welcome the valleys finest restaurants to take part in this important event, as it becomes essential for our community to unite and come together during difficult economic times, said Cristina Gair, executive director of The ERYC. These community-minded restaurants should be recognized and deserve our patronage, Gair said. This also offers an evening out to enjoy The Westin and all it has to offer as a venue, while supporting making youth a community priority.The event will feature acoustic music by Chris Heckmann. Another highlight will be a Salsa dancing demonstration. There will also be an opportunity to win prizes by purchasing balloons at the event.Young people are the future of our valley, and The ERYC is working with other youth organizations to ensure that youth can make good health decisions to promote wellness, said Krista McClinton, The ERYC board president. We want to thank the restaurants and The Westin for being involved and encourage you to attend this event to become partners for youth in the Eagle River Valley.The Eagle River Youth Coalitions mission is to assess and meet the changing needs of Eagle River youth through the communitys youth-serving organizations. Member groups include other youth nonprofits, schools, government, law enforcement, religious organizations, parents, youth and more. The coalition members collaborate together to meet the challenges and to develop positive opportunities for youth. In 2007, 37 percent of The ERYC budget was allocated to other youth organizations in Eagle County.The ERYC coordinates and distributes The Colorado Healthy Kids Survey in Eagle County to measure high school attitudes and behaviors. The survey is sponsored by The United Way of Eagle River Valley. The survey identifies alcohol and substance abuse, and depression and suicide as the top two priority issues facing youth.In addition, The ERYC and youth create marketing messages around positive behaviors of youth from the survey with its You Told Us campaign. This year The ERYC will also be developing social marketing campaigns to encourage youth and parents to talk about the important issues. Research shows that dialouge between parents and their children encourages better decisions by young people.You can also meet Youth Leader Council members at the event. The Youth Leader Council (YLC) is a county-wide leadership and service-learning council that is a partnership of The ERYC, The Youth Foundation and The Eagle County Volunteer Center. The YLC includes students from five area high schools including: Battle Mountain, Eagle Valley, Vail Christian, Vail Mountain and New America.

What: Valley Tastings: Food for Youth, a fundraiser to benefit The Eagle River Youth CoalitionWhen: Thursday, 6:30 to 9 p.m.Where: Westin Riverfront Resort & Spa, Riverside Ballroom, AvonCost: $50 per ticket More information: To buy tickets or learn more, call 970-949-9250 or visit

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