taste recap

1M3A0037How do you take 100 and turn it in to 249,000? Take a look at what the 100 signifies and you will find the answer. That 100 represents the 25 sponsors that signed on as Taste for Learning benefactors and the 16 master chef and beverage donors who provided gourmet tastings and treats the night of the event. It includes the vintners and spirit producers that were on-site to pour their finest libations and the volunteers who gave tirelessly of their afternoon and evening. It was the more than 750 people who gathered in the Gatlin Ballroom on May 17 for Taste for Learning to make a difference in the lives of others. 100 percent of all funds raised at Taste will go directly to scholarships at Valencia and medical education at Orlando Health. Here’s how it looks:

Orlando Health Foundation proceeds: $83,000
Valencia Foundation proceeds: $83,000
Valencia amount eligible for match: $83,000

These numbers may still change slightly as they are finalized but we feel confident in saying that Taste 2014 will have an impact of $249,000 on education in Central Florida. Thank you once again to our sponsors below and to all who helped build that 100 percent to almost a quarter million dollars for local students.

You can find more event photos on our Facebook page – A Taste for Learning.
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Sommelier sponsors: ABC Fine Wine and Spirits, Rosen Hotels and Resorts, Rosen Shingle Creek

First Press sponsors: Freeman Co., McCree General Contractors and Architects Inc., SunTrust Robinson Humphrey, Walt Disney World Resort

Vintner sponsors: Jess and Betsey Bailes, CliftonLarsonAllen LLP, Coca-Cola, Jack Holloway Foundation, Martinez Manglardi PA, Orlando Health, Orlando Magic, Signature Systems of Florida, Valencia College

Cabernet sponsors: BIOTRONIK Inc., Charles Perry Partners Inc., Clancy and Theys Construction Co., Emergency Physicians of Central Florida LLP, HuntonBrady Architects, Orlando Health Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery, PSAV Presentation Services, SeaWorld Parks and Resorts Orlando, Universal Orlando Resort, Wolverine Anesthesia Consultants

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taste for learning update

taste-logo-rgbTaste invitations are on their way, but you don’t have to wait. Visit http://www.ATasteForLearning.com to get your tickets today. While there, you can book a room at Rosen Shingle Creek at a reduced event price. May 17 is just about six weeks away; let’s take a look at how things are coming together.

There has been unprecedented response to our call for gourmet tastings. Every craving will be satisfied with food from Tommy Bahama Restaurant and Bar, Bubbalou’s Bodacious BBQ, Cabin Creek Food Services Inc., Rainforest Cafe, Yak and Yeti, T-REX, Taverna Yamas and Shutters at Old Port Royale.

Rosen Shingle Creek’s eateries, A Land Remembered, Cala Bella and Mi Casa Tequila Taqueria, will also provide delicious offerings.

Our other presenting sponsor, ABC Fine Wine and Spirits, recently confirmed that a favorite will be back again this year; the Maker’s Mark personalized dipping station.

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The silent auction items are growing by the day and include hotel stays, spa packages, theater tickets and wine tastings.

The wine is the big draw and ABC has graciously agreed to give us a sneak peek at some of the vintners and spirits.

Wagner Family of Wine – Belle Glos Pinot Noir, Conundrum

Treasury Wine Estates – Chateau St. Jean, Beringer

Justin and Landmark Wines – Justin Sauvignon Blanc, Landmark Pinot Noir

Delicato Family Vineyards – Gnarly Head, Noble, Belle Ambiance

The Lergenmüller Wine Group Germany – Dornfelder, Müller Piesporter, Villa Riesling

Vine and Branches – Bogle, Hook and Ladder

Peter Mondavi Family – several selections from the Charles Krug portfolio

Campari America – Skyy Infusions, Appleton, Rusell’s Reserve, American Honey

Fish Hawk Spirits – Absinthia Rubra, Marion Black 106

These are just a few selections with many more to come. Usually there are between 50 and 70 stations offering libations.

The last six Taste events have raised $2.27 million for scholarships and medical education. Remember, 100 percent of all funds raised go directly to students. An investment in Taste is an investment in medical and allied health science education in Central Florida. Every Valencia allied health scholarship contribution is doubled.

In a word, the reason sponsors sign on year after year is “fun.” The event is a great time; it’s a jovial atmosphere with no formal program. We are grateful to all of our benefactors, both past supporters and new friends. Sponsorships are still available, call Donna Marino (407-582-3128) for more information.

Sommelier – ABC Fine Wine and Spirits, Rosen Hotels and Resorts, Rosen Shingle Creek

First Press – Freeman Co., McCree General Contractors and Architects Inc., SunTrust Robinson Humphrey, Walt Disney World Resort

Vintner – CliftonLarsonAllen LLP, Martinez Manglardi PA, Orlando Health, Orlando Magic, Signature Systems of Florida, Valencia College

Cabernet – Charles Perry Partners Inc., Clancy and Theys Construction Co., HuntonBrady Architects, Orlando Health Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery, Universal Orlando Resort, Wolverine Anesthesia Consultants

taste for learning – the rosen connection

taste-logo-rgbTrue to their name, ABC Fine Wine and Spirits provide the wine, beer and spirits, but they need a place to take it. That’s where Rosen Hotels and Resorts and Rosen Shingle Creek come in. Since 2008, Rosen Shingle Creek has been home to Taste for Learning. The same is true this year for the May 17 event.

First, some history: In 1974, during an oil embargo, Harris Rosen decided to try his luck in the lodging and resort business, purchasing a 256-room hotel on International Drive. He personally traveled to places like New England persuading bus and tour companies to bring clients to Orlando. Today, his name is synonymous with the hotel and lodging industry, as well as long-standing philanthropy in our community.

Forward to 2007, when converging forces led Jonni Kimberly, Rosen Hotels and Resorts director of human resources, to Valencia, where she now serves as foundation board chair. At the time, Jonni was working with Rosen’s fledgling employee charity committee to hone its philanthropy and relationships with local nonprofits. Meanwhile, in his role as Valencia Foundation board chair, Alan Helman of HHCP Architects invited the Rosen organization to become more involved with Valencia, which was a primary source of its workforce.

Jonni was the obvious choice.

During her first year on the Valencia Foundation board, Jonni attended Taste. She was inspired by the notion that every single expense is covered, so that every dollar given is directed to scholarships and then matched by a challenge grant.

She proposed to her charity committee the idea of hosting the event at Rosen Shingle Creek, acknowledging that completely underwriting an event was unprecedented – not to mention inviting other hotels, restaurants and theme parks to join the collaboration on site. But Jonni was convinced that Rosen should lead the partnership with Valencia and ABC Fine Wine and Spirits. “I was impressed with the amount of money Taste brought in, and the fact that it all goes 100 percent to the purpose. The promise that every penny that would come from Taste would go to scholarships for students was a big seller,” she recalls.

Committed to providing more than just a venue, Rosen employees leverage their vendor contacts to get additional services donated to the event. Additionally, the chefs and culinary experts at Rosen Shingle Creek donate food to the event, hosting a food station and providing a beautiful display of desserts.
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In 2012, Orlando Health Foundation joined the event and the purpose grew to include medical education, as well as allied health science scholarships. 100 percent of auction proceeds, tickets and sponsorships will directly benefit students. Every Valencia allied health scholarship contribution is doubled.

Tickets are $125 each and can be purchased at http://www.atasteforlearning.com. And Rosen’s hospitality doesn’t end when the event is over; rooms are available on the event website at a special reduced group rate for Taste attendees.

Thank you to Rosen and here is a look at all of our generous sponsors:

Sommelier: ABC Fine Wine and Spirits, Rosen Hotels and Resorts and Rosen Shingle Creek

First Press: Freeman Co., McCree General Contractors and Architects, SunTrust Robinson Humphrey and Walt Disney World Resort

Vintner: CliftonLarsonAllen LLP, Martinez Manglardi PA, Orlando Health, Orlando Magic and Valencia College

Cabernet: Charles Perry Partners Inc., Edlen Electrical Exhibition Services of Orlando Inc., Universal Orlando Resort and Wolverine Anesthesia Consultants

join our team – special events consultant needed

Valencia College is a premier learning college that transforms lives, strengthens community and inspires individuals to excellence.

Valencia College Foundation’s mission is to support learning at Valencia College through scholarships, endowed faculty chairs, program enhancement funds and development of capital dollars.

We are looking for a short-term special events consultant to fill the position of Special Events Coordinator. This is a high impact position that will help put together a large-scale signature event to benefit the community we serve.

Primary function
This contract position is responsible for assisting foundation staff with the planning and execution of our signature event on May 17, 2014, Taste for Learning.

Length of contract: March 10, 2014 – May 23, 2014

Location: Valencia College Foundation, 190 S. Orange Ave, Orlando, FL 32801. There will be event planning meetings at other locations from time to time. Some duties may be done from a remote location. Event will take place at Rosen Shingle Creek.

Pay range: Inclusive fee of $4,000 – $5,000 for length of contract, commensurate with experience

Key roles/responsibilities
Responsibilities include coordinating all aspects of the silent auction for the signature event but are not limited to:
• Preparing various forms of correspondence to request in-kind donations from constituents.

• Coordinating the delivery or pick up of in-kind donations.

• Tracking and entering in-kind donations into Raiser’s Edge database.

• Sending acknowledgements to in-kind donors.

• Attend event planning meetings.

• Recognizing silent auction donors and promoting the event through social media.

• Assemble in-kind donations into silent auction packages.

• Prepare bid sheets and on-site silent auction set up and subsequent break down.

• Coordinate volunteers for silent auction area.

• Work with foundation staff to coordinate the development and printing of silent auction listings for event program and other donor recognition pieces.

• Assist in packaging auction items for delivery to event location.

• On site auction area set up and subsequent break down.

• Follow up on final payment and delivery of auction items after event (for items not paid and/or picked up at event).

• Maintain oral and written contact with foundation management, staff and event partners for the purpose of exchange of information as it relates to the event.

• Other event-related duties as needed.

Skills/knowledge required
• Experience in nonprofits, including managing or organizing large-scale special events required. Demonstrated ability to secure auction items and sponsorships a plus.

• Strong oral and written communications skills.

• Highly adaptable and flexible individual who can excel in a fast paced environment and respond to last minute requests.

• High level attention to detail.

• Ability to work independently and with a team.

• Strong computer skills, especially Microsoft Word, Excel, Outlook and donor database experience. Raiser’s Edge experience preferred.

• This position will initially require only a few hours a week and then steadily progress to more in the weeks and days leading up to and through the event.

Application
For immediate consideration, please submit cover letter and resume via email to foundation@valenciacollege.edu. Upon reviewing, we will contact you to schedule an interview. Contract to remain open and resumes will be accepted until filled.

a special date – feb.14

Feb-14-Valentines-Day-690x431According to NPR, it has rather barbaric origins with the ancient Romans. Chaucer and Shakespeare sweetened it with their prose, with popularity eventually bringing it to America. In 1913, Hallmark Cards produced the first cards for the holiday.

Wait just a minute! We are not discussing Valentine’s Day, but instead another special occurrence that happens on Feb. 14. For this is the last day of our special couple pricing – two tickets/$200 – for Taste for Learning.

Taste will be Saturday, May 17 at Rosen Shingle Creek. Purchase tickets at www.ATasteForLearning.com. And on the site, you can also book a room at Rosen Shingle Creek at a special-event price.

After Feb. 14, each ticket will be $125, which is still a bargain for all the event has to offer.

This year will feature spirits and you can even expect some craft beers, but the emphasis is wine with vintners from all over the world pouring the finest they have to offer.

Wine and the celebrated Valentine’s Day do have something in common, both can trace their roots to ancient times. The New York Times tell us that wine “is as old as civilization itself.” 6000 B.C. dates the first evidence of fermenting grapes for juices. Wine permeated society and gained popularity in the Roman era. It was during that era that something wonderful was born – the wine bar.

wine corks

As time moved on, giving us new empires and ages, the method and consumption of wine changed. By the 18th century, the wine market boomed and came to the New World and Australia in the 19th century.

It was many years later, in 1936, that ABC Fine Wine and Spirits was born. Jack Holloway, a cigar store manager, thought the end of Prohibition brought an opportunity to expand from cigars into spirits.

No doubt some of you drive or walk by that first store on a daily basis, Jack’s Friendly Neighborhood Bar, at the corner of Orange Avenue and Wall Street in downtown Orlando. Growing to a half-dozen stores during the next decade, it was the year 1950 that the name ABC Liquors was chosen. Company legend has it that Jack wanted a name that folks would remember, and one that would show up first in the phone book!

The 70s brought the addition of lounges to retail stores and the 80s brought an expansion to the northern part of Florida.

The updated name, ABC Fine Wine and Spirits, came in 1993 and today the company is celebrating 75-plus years in business with stores all over Florida.

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It was when Jess Bailes, executive vice president at ABC, crossed paths with Valencia that Taste was born. The year was 2005 and board members agreed to the event only if all event proceeds went directly to scholarships. That is still in place today – 100 percent of all sponsorships, ticket sales and auction proceeds go directly to the intended purpose.

But time does bring some change for Taste. The event was blessed with another special presenting sponsor, Rosen Shingle Creek. Next month we will take a look at Rosen’s impact on Taste and Valencia.

2012 saw a new partner for the event, Orlando Health Foundation. They are again our partner for the 2014 event and plan to use their portion of the funds for medical education.

What will Taste bring next? The best way to find out is to purchase your tickets today. Hope to see you there!

taste – where does the money go?

new Taste logo

new Taste logo

Have you bought your tickets to Taste for Learning at www.ATasteForLearning.com? Well, you can be proud of the fact that 100 percent will go to scholarships and medical education.

From the ticket holder to the presenting sponsor and all the auction items in between, all of the money goes to the cause. And it has always been that way. The last six Taste events have raised a total of $2.27 million for educational support.

Money for the event comes from ticket sales, the silent auction and, of course, sponsors. With the addition of McCree General Contractors and Architects Inc. and Universal Orlando Resort, here is a look at our generous benefactors.

Sommelier level: ABC Fine Wine and Spirits and Rosen Shingle Creek
First press level: McCree General Contractors and Architects
Vintner level: Orlando Magic
Cabernet level: Charles Perry Partners Inc., Edlen Electrical Exhibition Services, Universal Orlando Resort, Wolverine Anesthesia Consultants

In order to maximize recognition, we ask sponsors to sign on as soon as possible. If you are interested, or know someone who might be, please contact Donna Marino at 407-582-3128 or dmarino@valenciacollege.edu.

While our partner, Orlando Health Foundation, will fund medical education efforts, Valencia Foundation will put the money toward scholarships for first-generation college students.

Just last year, the foundation completed a successful First One campaign and raised $200,000 for first-generation scholarships. During that time, we got to know students, faculty and staff who are first-generation scholars.

Dr. Joyce Romano, Valencia’s vice president of student affairs, put it best when she said, “When you are a first-generation college student, your ideas of what is possible are so limited because you just don’t know what you don’t know.”

Unfortunately, first-generation students are not always set up for success. Not knowing about the college experience, families may be unprepared to offer support when it comes to education after high school. Maybe college was so out of their realm of thinking that they neglected to take core college-prep classes in high school. If the going gets tough, do they have a support network or role model who can offer real-life inspiration that college is attainable?

Being a part of that support network, that is what these scholarships hope to do. Scholarships offer not only financial support, but the belief that someone cares and wants them to do well.

Here are the thoughts and thanks of some of our first-generation students.

Qunesha is the oldest of three and no doubt a big inspiration to her siblings. She said, “Not only will your scholarship help me in obtaining my degree here at Valencia, it will continue to encourage me as I enter the workforce, knowing that I have supporters that believe in my success by investing in my future.”

Bobi shared that education was stressed at her house, but only through high school. She is a mom, working and going to school full time. From her: “I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for your generosity and for helping students who have a vision of bettering themselves through education.”

Jazmine’s career goal is to be a nurse. She plans to continue her education at UCF after Valencia. She acknowledged, “Being the oldest of eight kids puts me in a role model position and I appreciate the opportunity you’ve given me to prove myself and set an example for my younger siblings.”

And Jerome shows us that any time is a perfect time to start at Valencia. He loves computers and looks forward to having a career working with them. He shared, “Because of your generous donation, this third-generation, native resident of Orlando will be able to achieve his dreams and become the first in my family to obtain a college degree.”

Again, tickets can be purchased at www.ATasteForLearning.com. You can truly make a difference in someone’s life.

foundation mash-up

It’s a little of this and a little of that as we kick off this new year. I hope everyone enjoyed the holidays and great memories were made.

While we enjoy the Florida “winter,” there is one Valencia student who remembers a more frozen landscape.

Megan Morrison’s journey to Valencia took a long road, all the way to Alaska! She was recruited to play volleyball for the University of Alaska. She says she was “a Floridian looking for an adventure.” Memories of the Sunshine State soon won over the incredible cold and darkness and she came back to Florida and to Valencia.

Her start at Valencia was smooth and she immediately received help with submitting appeals for credit transfers and staff made sure she got right back into classes. Now she is exactly on track as a sophomore planning to graduate at the end of spring and begin her junior year at UCF. She recently made the decision to study speech therapy.

She found out about scholarships through her college email and recently applied for funding. Hopefully, we can add another chapter to her story – as a scholarship recipient!

Scholarship coordinator, Jen Bhagirath, shares, “It takes the submission of one scholarship application to obtain a grand opportunity. I encourage all Valencia students to submit a Valencia Foundation scholarship application. This grants our team the ability to seek scholarship funding opportunities that will lessen the financial burdens they may face as students. This is wonderful and possible with the submission of just one scholarship application.”

At our core is helping students. Every scholarship application is a chance to change the life of a student in need. It is something that is always reflected on at this time, when the spirit of giving surrounds us and hope springs eternal with the new year.

And speaking of spirit, or should I say spirits? Please don’t forget that tickets to Taste for Learning are on sale now. It is a celebration like no other and a ticket purchase would be the perfect post-holiday pick me up!
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The event is May 17, 2014 at Rosen Shingle Creek. Now through Feb. 14, two tickets are on sale for $200. Individual tickets are $125. You can get yours today at www.ATasteForLearning.com.

And we ring in the new year with another new sponsor, Orlando Magic. Here is a look at our sponsors to date:
Sommelier – ABC Fine Wine and Spirits, Rosen Shingle Creek
Vintner – Orlando Magic
Cabernet – Charles Perry Partners Inc., Edlen Electrical Exhibition Services and Wolverine Anesthesia Consultants

All have sponsored past Taste events and we are so very appreciative for their continued support. To find out more about sponsorships, contact Donna Marino at 407-582-3128 or dmarino@valenciacollege.edu.