Valley Tastings: Food For Youth returns to Donovan Pavilion in Vail, Oct. 6 | VailDaily.com

Valley Tastings: Food For Youth returns to Donovan Pavilion in Vail, Oct. 6

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VAIL — Eagle River Youth Coalition is celebrating 15 years of making youth a community priority and collaborating with local youth-serving organizations at this year's Valley Tastings: Food For Youth.

The annual family-friendly event takes place on Thursday, Oct. 6, from 6:30 to 9 p.m. at the Donovan Pavilion in Vail and features live music by youth rock 'n' roll band The Martinellies, a variety of well-known local restaurants serving gourmet tastings and presentations of Outstanding Youth Awards and Difference Maker of the Year.

"We have received a record number of outstanding youth nominations this year," said Mikayla Curtis, manager of Strategic Impact. "There are many deserving youth for these awards, and it's the narrowing it down to two that is a challenge for us. … Our hope is that the winners become examples for other youth to emulate and continue the youth leadership trend that strengthens our community."

Tiramisu ice cream from Splendido, autumn gourmet pizza with truffle oil from Blue Moose and Fiesta's famous chicken enchiladas and harvest chili rellenos are just some of the dishes that will be served — or start the evening with Batter Cupcakes and make it a backwards dinner. Additional participating restaurants include Game Creek Club and longstanding partners Main Street Grill and Ristorante Ti Amo. Bonfire Brewery signature microbrews and rootbeer and wine from Avon Liquors will be available, and High Country Kombucha is also providing beverages to compliment the variety of food.

"It's nice for (Eagle River Youth Coalition) to take a pause from our daily collaboration of the 2015 Healthy Kids Colorado Survey results, Eat Chat Parent and Active Parenting Programs and our signature Youth Leadership Council to celebrate youth and those adults that make a difference for youth's lives," said Michelle Stecher, who is celebrating her five year anniversary as executive director of the Eagle River Youth Coalition.

"We are excited about all of our recent initiatives but are particularly energized about (Youth Leadership Council) because we have the most participants, with 60 high school students committed from every high school in the county."

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Silent Auction Items

Whether attending the Valley Tastings event or not, Eagle River Youth Coalition encourages the community to help support its initiatives by participating in this year's silent auction, which is highlighted by a three-night, two-room stay at the award-winning Monarch Beach Resort in Dana Point, California, courtesy of KSL Resorts.

"We support (Eagle River Youth Coalition), as they are one of the Vail Valley's premier organizations helping to create leadership opportunities for today's youth, preparing them to become tomorrow's leaders," said Eric Resnick, KSL CEO and longtime Vail resident.

Additional silent auction items include theater tickets in Denver, local restaurant certificates, jewelry, apparel and youth camps and activities, a Vail Airbnb apartment, Tennessee Cookhouse, The Club at Cordillera golf foursome and much more. Organizers will be accepting call-in bids on the night of the event; contact Carol Johnson at cjohnson@eagleyouth.org if you would like to be added to the call-in list.

Visit eagleyouth.org/valleytastings for more information.

If you go …

What: Valley Tastings: Food For Youth.

When: 6:30-9 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 6.

Where: Donovan Pavilion, 1600 South Frontage Road W., Vail.

Cost: $75; teachers and Eagle River Youth Coalition members can purchase two-for-one tickets.

More information: Space is limited; purchase advance tickets at eagleyouth.org/valleytastings.