'Toast and Taste' raises funds for surgery center
Shriners Hospitals for Children in Erie, PA, recently raised $2,300 for its Erie Ambulatory Surgery Center and Erie Outpatient Specialty Care Center with a "Toast and Taste" beer, wine, and food pairing event. All of the food and alcohol was donated by 17 local restaurants, wineries, and microbreweries.
The businesses developed unique food and beverage pairings. Individuals circulated among the participating establishments and sampled the pairings. A DJ provided music. The event included a silent auction of donated prizes. Many of the prizes were gift packages. For example, an Elton John package included two tickets to his Erie concert and a copy of his newest CD. The silent auction also included two large gift packages of toys: one for a girl and one for a boy. Another popular item was a large handcrafted ceramic bowl donated by a local artist.
Tickets were $25 and sold at the hospital, the event location, and the branches of one of the bank corporate sponsors.
The three-hour event was held on a November Sunday at a train station now used primarily for social events. "It was held on a Sunday afternoon because we felt people are often looking for things to do on Sunday afternoons, especially now that the weather has turned cold and outdoor activities are very limited," says Bob Howden, MS, public relations manager at Shriners Hospitals — Erie. "We expect to continue to hold it on Sunday afternoons," Howden says.
Expenses for the event included graphics/printing for the mailed announcements, posters, and tickets; rental of the venue; Department of Health food license fees; and supplies such as plastic dishes, plastic utensils, and napkins. Corporate sponsors contributed funds and services. "For example, one of the local TV stations contributed production and airing of 30 event promos," Howden says. The event also was promoted through news releases and on social media.
Shriners Hospitals Erie expects to make this event an annual one.