Mar 11, 2008 Deb Oonk Uncategorized
The blustery wind and snow didn’t keep more than 600 people from attending A Taste of Baldwinsville 2008. The event was held last Saturday at the Central New York Family Sports Centre.
With the purchase of a $30 ticket, attendees were treated to the finest pizza, wings, sandwiches, desserts and other foods from the Baldwinsville area. They then voted for their favorites with plastic chips. Gwen Rush of Baldwinsville said it was hard to choose a favorite.
“There’s so much good food!” she said. “I really liked Sammy Malone’s. I think they have the best sandwich. And the chocolate-covered strawberries from Edible Arrangements are so good.”
Jacqueline Coe, owner of Sugar & Spice Party Planners in Baldwinsville, competed in the “After Dinner Delight” category with Devonshire cream and strawberries, a dessert she serves with formal teas. Coe just opened her business this past July, and said that A Taste of Baldwinsville was a great way to get her name out in the community.
“I’m having a great time and enjoying meeting new people,” she said. “It’s great that we can help the volunteer center and promote our businesses at the same time.”
As Anheuser-Busch is a major sponsor of the event, beverages produced and imported by the company were also provided. More than 15 different beers were available to be sampled. This was by far the busiest section of the centre, with more than 10 volunteers working the bar at a time.
Attendees were also given the chance to participate in silent and live auctions, with all proceeds given to the volunteer center. The silent auction was divided into tables of different categories, such as Health & Beauty, Sports & Recreation, and Services Around Town. Each table featured baskets, items or gift certificates related to their category. Several Baldwinsville neighborhoods and streets also donated themed baskets. For example, Country Lane donated a package called “Country Cheers!,” which had all the necessary items to throw a wine party.
The live auction, which began at 9:30 p.m., was run by Bob Mack of TW Conroy Associates. It featured items such as a basketball signed by this year’s Syracuse University basketball team, an aerial photograph of Baldwinsville, and a Canadian getaway weekend. A one-year new family membership to the Greater Syracuse YMCA brought in the most money in the live auction, selling for $310.
Entertainment for the night was provided by local band Ten Years Later. The band, made up of Aaron Bullis, Jon Bullis, Jeremy Melowling, and John Lerner, donated their time and sound system, and played a variety of music before the start of the live auction.
A Taste of Baldwinsville was staffed by volunteers from the Baldwinsville Volunteer Center and teen volunteers. While some teenagers were connected to the event through family and friends, others got involved through Baker High School’s Key Club, a volunteer organization. Mason Collins and Sean Bernstein, both juniors at Baker, said they had been at the CNY Family Sports Centre hours before the event to set up, and would stay until the end to help clean.
“Everything is looking good,” Collins said. “People really seem to be enjoying it.”
Trish Hipolito, co-chair of A Taste of Baldwinsville with the volunteer center, said the event provides 60 percent of the center’s annual budget. She said the 400 tickets available for sale to the general public had sold out the Monday prior, and more than 200 additional tickets were given to volunteers and sponsors.
“We’re very happy with the ticket sales, our sponsors and the restaurants,” she said. “We just wish the weather was better!”
A Taste of Baldwinsville is the major annual fundraising event for the Baldwinsville Volunteer Center. The event features restaurants from around Baldwinsville competing in several categories of food. Twenty different restaurants participated in this year’s contest.