FORT MYERS, Fla. (Sept. 3, 2015) – The Junior League of Fort Myers, Inc. and the Red Sox Foundation are teaming up for a new fundraiser prior to the 33rd Annual Taste of the Town.

During the inaugural Best of Taste in the Park, attendees will be able to participate in judging offerings from participating restaurants to decide the newly created “People’s Choice Award” that will be showcased at the 33rd Annual Taste of the Town.

Best of Taste in the Park will take place from 6 to 8 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 19 at JetBlue Park, located at 11500 Fenway South Drive in Fort Myers. The event will be capped at 200 attendees.

“In the past, our Best of Taste judging was always held behind closed doors with local celebrities, food writers and other media serving as judges,” said Karen Hutto, co-chair of this year’s Taste of the Town. “Working with the Red Sox, we decided to open up this opportunity for the community to be a part of and, at the same time, to raise additional funds for our community.”

During the event, participating restaurants will host stations offering attendees tastings of their entries which will then be voted on by the public for the “People’s Choice Award.” Dishes entered must be a dish the restaurant will be serving at Taste of the Town.

In addition to the tastings and judging, attendees will enjoy complimentary beer and wine, rum tastings, a silent auction with one-of-a-kind items, self-guided tours, raffle prizes, complimentary admission to Taste of the Town on Nov. 1 and take-away swag bags.

Tickets for Best of Taste in the Park are $75 each. The deadline for restaurants to participate is Oct. 1.

“This event is a win-win for our local community,” said Katie Haas, Red Sox senior director of Florida business operations. “Funds raised from this event will stay local to benefit the Red Sox Scholarship Fund in partnership with The Foundation for Lee County Public Schools, Inc., as well as the Junior League’s volunteer services and donations to programs supporting women and children in the region.”

“The goal of this event is to attract an audience of food connoisseurs and philanthropic-minded citizens who are looking for a unique night out not found anywhere else in Southwest Florida,” said Shirley Snyder McLaren, co-chair of Taste of the Town.

All funds raised at the event will be split between the Junior League of Fort Myers and the Red Sox Foundation to be given back to our local community.

To date, the following restaurants have signed up to participate in Best of Taste in the Park with additional restaurants to be added: 11:Eleven Café, 1st Street Deli, BurgerQue, Edible Arrangements, Gulf Coast Fudge Co., Lucky Mi, Norman Love Confections, Prime de Leon, Reuben’s and The Melting Pot.

Sponsors for Best of Taste in the Park include Scanlon Auto Group and Key West Express.

The 33rd Annual Taste of the Town, Southwest Florida’s original “taste” event and one of the largest outdoor food and entertainment festivals, will be held at JetBlue Park on Sunday, Nov. 1. The 2014 event attracted nearly 15,000 attendees.

To purchase tickets for Best of Taste in the Park, visit or email

The Red Sox Foundation, one of the most successful in all of Major League Baseball, is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and the official team charity of the Boston Red Sox. The Foundation’s primary focus locally is in serving the health, education, recreation and social service needs of children and families across Southwest Florida.

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

For more information about the Best of Taste or the annual Taste of the Town, call 239-277-1197 or email For ongoing updates on Taste of the Town, visit

Best of Taste Entries 2014