ST. CLAIRSVILLE - It's time to purchase your tickets and begin preparing your appetite for a flavor explosion.
The St. Clairsville Rotary Club's annual eating and fundraising extravaganza, the Taste of the Valley, is less than three weeks away. It's the 'don't miss event' of the spring.
Scheduled for Thursday, April 18 from 5-8 p.m., the annual event is now in its 13th edition and second at the Carnes Center after making a short jaunt westward out National Road.
Taste of the Valley was previously held at the Belmont Hills Country Club.
"This is our 13th annual Taste of the Valley event and thank you all so very much for your donations and taking the time to help us in a worthy cause," said Jim Bartsch, chairman of Taste of the Valley and past president of the St. Clairsville Rotary Club. "The Taste of the Valley is our largest fundraiser, and of course without your support every year, it would not be possible."
Twenty one restaurants from across the Ohio Valley have signed on to donate their time and culinary talents to benefit the event, including: Perkin's Family Restaurant and Bakery; Applebee's Neighborhood Grill; Ruttenbuck's Bar and Grill; Tim Horton's; Bob Evans; Ye Olde Alpha; Osaka Japanese Steakhouse; Kirk's Ice Cream; Tina's Sweet Celebrations; Cafe Burress and Jeremiah's Express; Eat'n Park; Panera Bread; Lou's Famous Fish; Riesbeck's Food Markets and Catering; The Cookie Jar; Tlaquepaque; Domino's Pizza; Kroger Deli; Honey Baked Ham and Buffalo Wild Wings.
Rotary president John Sambuco said the club is looking to add an additional four restaurants, but is holding off naming until he receives confirmation.
One thing is for certain, the event's new location has been a hit.
"We have ample room for at least 25 restaurants," Sambuco said. "We've heard nothing but positive feedback. Previously, we had to have off-site parking and shuttle people back and forth."
Tickets are still available for Taste of the Valley and can be purchased for $25 apiece. They are available from members of the club. Tickets, if available, will be sold at the door on April 18. But only 600 tickets have been printed for this extremely popular event and interested parties are encouraged to purchase ahead of time.
"With 25 restaurants, that amounts to $1 per restaurant and there is everything from Osaka to Tina's Sweet Celebrations and the desserts they supply to Pinera Bread and Mexican food from Tlaquepaque," Sambuco said. "Whatever you like, it will be there."
In addition to the smorgasbord of food that will tantalize your taste buds, there will be another popular silent auction and Chinese auction, each featuring dozens of items donated by local businesses, organizations and individuals. There will also be a cash bar during the event.
This is the Rotary Club's largest of three fundraisers, which includes a spaghetti dinner and the recent addition of the Rocking Rotary Music Fest.
The funds collected enable the service organization to provide assistance to numerous projects in St. Clairsville and beyond.
In just the last seven years, the Rotary has donated $50,000 to the Capstone Soccer Complex; $20,000 to the Memorial Park/St. C. Revitalization Committee; $20,000 to the St. Clairsville stadium project ($50,000 over five years), $10,000 to the Belmont County Fair Board ($25,000 over five years); $4,900 to the Tri-County Help Center and $5,201 to a dictionary project for Belmont County third graders.
Those few recipients are just a minuscule sampling of the groups, projects and organizations assisted by the Rotary Club through the years.
Sambuco wished to thank the sponsors of this year's Taste of the Valley, which include: Whiteside Chevrolet, Harvey Goodman Realtor, Toothman Funeral Home, Kirke's Homemade Ice Cream, Beck-Altmeyer Funeral Home, Jenkins Sporting Goods, Belmont Savings Bank, Fregiato, Myser & Davies, Capstone Holding Company, PNC Bank, Hocking Eye Care, Tri-State Machine, Family Dentistry, Kroger, Belmont College, Blue Ribbon Rentals, Ohio University Eastern and Constance Manypenny
For additional information or to purchase tickets, contact Rotary secretary Jeannette Williams at (740) 695-6220 or visit the club's website at www.stcrotary.org
Hughes may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org