FORT MYERS, Fla. (Sept. 10, 2014) – Additional restaurants have signed up to participate in the Junior League of Fort Myers, Inc. 32nd Annual Taste of the Town to be held on Sunday, Nov. 2 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The event will once again be held at JetBlue Park, the Boston Red Sox’s 106-acre Spring Training and Player Development Complex, located at 11500 Fenway South Drive in Fort Myers.
The Junior League’s Taste of the Town is Southwest Florida’s original “taste” event and one of the largest outdoor food and entertainment festivals drawing nearly 10,000 people each year. The funds from this annual event benefit the JLFM, whose volunteer mission provides thousands of dollars annually in volunteer services and donations to programs supporting women and children in the region. These programs include the Junior League’s national program Kids in the Kitchen to help fight childhood obesity, the ongoing work with at-risk girls in the juvenile justice system, as well as work throughout the community in partnership with many organizations through the League’s Helping Hands program, which provides volunteer woman-power to organizations such as Big Brother Big Sisters, the Abuse Counseling & Treatment Shelter, Early Learning Coalition, the Supporting Independent Young Adults organization and many more.
Last year’s event raised more than $114,000 for these organizations.
To date, 40 restaurants have signed up to participate in the annual event including Aurelio’s Pizza, Bahama Breeze, Ben & Jerry’s, Bice Grand Café, Burger 21, BurgerQue, Cabana’s Beach Bar, Connors Steak & Seafood, Cru, Doc Ford’s Rum Bar & Grille, EE-TO-LEET-KE Grill, El Gaucho Inca, Famous Dave’s BBQ, Fathoms Restaurant, First Street Deli, Ft. Myers Ale House, Grace & Shelly’s Cupcakes, Hooters, Iguana Mia, India Palace, Kona Ice, Lazy Flamingo, LongHorn Steakhouse, Marker 92, Norman Love Artisan Gelato, Origami, Papa Murphy’s Pizza, Parrot Key, Pho Vinh Express, Pinchers Crab Shack, Reuben’s Smokehouse & Catering, Ruth’s Chris Steak House, Stevie Tomato’s Sports Page, Ted’s Montana Grill, Texas Roadhouse, Texas Tony’s BBQ Shack, The Big Game, The Bubble Room, The Melting Pot, The Sandy Hook and The Sandy Parrot.
Live entertainment will include CTO High Voltage, the Ben Allen Band, Model Citisin and Little Eddie & The Fat Fingers. The entertainment will cover genres including country, 90s Rock and today’s hits.
“Supporting the community never tasted so good,” said Sasha Warren, 2014-2015 president of JLFM. “Many of our participating restaurants return year after year, and to us, this speaks worlds about our vendors, as this event provides an opportunity for them to not only connect with Southwest Florida on a business level but also to support people in need by participating in this charity event each year.”
Prior to the annual Taste of the Town food festival, participating restaurants have the opportunity to present their dishes in the “Best of Taste” contest with local celebrities judging the following categories: Best Appetizer, Best Entrée and Best Dessert. Judging will take place on Tuesday, Oct. 21 at JetBlue Park. The dish with the most overall points is also given the “Winner’s Circle” award for best overall dish. Winners in each category will be listed at each restaurant’s booth, announced the day of the event, given a certificate to display in their restaurant and mentioned in a special press release announcing the winners in each category.
This year’s celebrity judges include: Mark Loren, Kathryn Kelly, Drew Sterwald, Mike Duvall, Chris Fennell, Katie Haas, Brett Bodine and Representative Matt Caldwell.
“This event is so much more than a fundraiser; it’s a win-win for our community,” Warren added. “Taste of the Town promotes and supports local businesses and the musical arts, creates resources for community service and brings our community together.”
CenturyLink has signed on as a $2,500 Hospitality Sponsor. Florida Tracks and Trails will be sponsoring the Adventure Zone, which will provide a variety of activities for children. Additional sponsors include Waterman Broadcasting, RMC Consultants, Direct Buy and Gulfshore Life Magazine. Sponsorships are still available.
A member of the Association of Junior Leagues International, Inc., the Junior League of Fort Myers, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization made up of women committed to promoting voluntarism, developing the potential of women and improving the community through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers. Its purpose is exclusively educational and charitable. The JLFM is also a granting organization, providing mini-grants to organizations through out Southwest Florida’s five-county area to programs that create better life outcomes for our area’s youth. JLFM memberships are open to all women aged 21 and older of all races, religions and national origin who demonstrate an interest in and commitment to voluntarism. For more information about the JLFM League, call 239-277-1197 or visit www.jlfm.org.
Limited applications are still being accepted for local restaurants to showcase their fare in the 2014 Taste of the Town. Interested restaurants and vendors can contact the JLFM at 239-277-1197 or firstname.lastname@example.org. For ongoing updates on Taste of the Town, visit www.jlfmtaste.com.