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.
1M3A0068

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

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.

057
018

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.
Rosen-Color

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.

ABC_3D_LOGO_HI RES2

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!
taste-logo-rgb
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.

taste for learning tickets on sale

new Taste logo

new Taste logo

Guess what arrived, just in time for the holidays? Taste for Learning tickets! These tickets make great gifts for friends and family, and definitely for yourself. Here is a wish item you need on your list: a pair of Taste tickets at a discount price of $200 and a special room rate at Rosen Shingle Creek. Visit www.ATasteForLearning.com today and make plans to join us on May 17, 2014.

This year we are offering the discounted couple ticket price of $200 only through Feb. 14. And yes, these tickets also make a wonderful Valentine’s Day gift for the special someone in your life.

Single tickets are always available at $125 and even at that price it is a great deal. For those of you who have been, you know it is an event like no other. And for those of you who have never been, you really have to experience it – the plethora of wine and spirits, the scrumptious food offerings and the amazing auction items.

This event is possible through the efforts of our sponsors and donors, and ABC Fine Wine and Spirits leads the pack. Jess Bailes, executive vice president at ABC Fine Wine and Spirits, was the visionary and he brought the idea to our board who agreed only if 100 percent of all funds raised could go to its intended purpose. The event continues to grow and evolve, and we are honored to again welcome Orlando Health Foundation into the fold as event partner. But at the root, the event remains the same: 100 percent of all funds raised will go directly to support scholarships and medical education in our community.

ABC Fine Wine and Spirits is also a constant at Taste. They are focused on worldwide wine and spirits, which will be reflected at the event. Craft beers are popular right now, so expect to see some special offerings on May 17.

Here’s a little secret, want to know why foundation staff looks so happy to be there? It is because they are. Each year it is such a treat to be able to stay at Rosen Shingle Creek. It is a beautiful location and accommodations are beyond compare.

Rosen’s involvement came from another Valencia board member, now board chair, Jonni Kimberly. Jonni is the director of human resources at Rosen Hotels and Resorts. She attended a Taste event and thought it would be a great idea to have it at Rosen Shingle Creek. Rosen had never done anything like that before, completely underwrite an event, but the facts and figures of Taste sold them and they have been on board ever since.

Just in typing this I am filled with an overwhelming sense of gratitude. These two board members, and many early supporters, led the way and did something not for their own gain, but to truly impact education in our community. This season, and always, I am so thankful for the wonderful friends we have.

I asked foundation staff for a sneak peek at the silent auction and there has already been a great response and items are coming in! There will be spa visits, travel packages, hotel stays, show tickets and more. So far we have items from WonderWorks; the Ritz-Carlton Orlando Grande Lakes; Orlando Magic; Central Florida Zoo and Botantical Gardens; Panera Bread; Arabian Nights; Canvas on Demand and Euro Day Spa and Salon.

If you have any connections for great auction items, please let us know (407-582-3150 or foundation@valenciacollege.edu).

And sponsors have signed on early too. In addition to ABC Fine Wine and Spirits and Rosen Shingle Creek, we are so happy to welcome three Cabernet sponsors: Charles Perry Partners Inc., Edlen Electrical Exhibition Services and Wolverine Anesthesia Consultants.

If you know of anyone who may be interested in a sponsorship, please contact Donna Marino at the foundation (407-582-3128 or dmarino@valenciacollege.edu). Donna is once again our fearless event leader and she can help you with all things Taste!

a closer look: taste for learning makeover

Who doesn’t love a good makeover? Senior public relations manager Carol Traynor, senior art director Marty Csercsevits and their talented team at the college’s marketing and strategic communications department brought a new look and new life to our Taste for Learning event.

The next Taste event is scheduled for May 17, 2014 at Rosen Shingle Creek.

The event started in 2005 when foundation board member Jess Bailes and his team at ABC Fine Wine and Spirits partnered with Valencia Foundation. Our board of directors agreed to host the fundraiser only if we could ensure that every single dollar donated went directly to support education.

Today, we are still so blessed to have ABC’s involvement, as well as the support of Rosen Shingle Creek. Throughout the years, the logo stayed the same, with a graduation hat symbolizing the funds that went to support scholarships and grapes representing the wine that was served.

But now, as the event evolves, it was time for something new. First, the liquor landscape is always changing and ABC recognizes not just wines, but worldwide wine and spirits. Craft beers are currently very popular and that will be reflected at the event. As the event progressed, we came to realize that we had outgrown the grapes.

previous Taste logo

previous Taste logo

Additionally, we began partnering with other organizations for the event. First we partnered with UCF Foundation and now for the second year with Orlando Health Foundation. While we don’t share an identical mission with Orlando Health, we both place a priority on education. Funds raised at the event support student scholarships for us and medical education for Orlando Health Foundation.

Everyone is competing for fundraising dollars and these unique partnerships offer an opportunity to support more than one effort in our local community. What also sets us apart is the fact that still, eight years later, 100 percent of all funds raised goes directly to the cause.

We could not make that claim without the support of ABC Fine Wine and Spirits, Rosen Shingle Creek and our other sponsors. Our supporters work diligently to make sure that everything is donated, even down to the electrical drops for the event. The college generously underwrites the printing and creative costs.

Which brings us to the new logo – here it is!

new Taste logo

new Taste logo

Our new tagline is: An evening of food,wine and spirits paired with an auction to benefit scholarships and medical education.

The new logo gives a well-rounded representation of the spirits that will be at the event and the bright colors bring a sense of fun and liveliness, which is what Taste is all about.

Again, this year’s event will be on Saturday, May 17. In addition to ABC Fine Wine and Spirits and Rosen Shingle Creek, we are thrilled to have two early sponsors, Charles Perry Partners Inc. and Wolverine Anesthesia Consultants.

Stay tuned to the event website for updates WWW.ATASTEFORLEARNING.COM and if there is someone you would like us to send a sponsor packet to, please reach out to Donna Marino at 407-582-3128 or dmarino@valenciacollege.edu.

Mark your calendars – we will see you there!

help make a difference!

Drawing

 

Has Valencia College had a positive impact on your life or on a loved one? A college degree, a new career, a better job, renewed self confidence?

If so, please consider making a modest donation to support deserving students who are the first in their families to attend college. Every dollar matters, goes 100 percent to scholarships and will be doubled by a challenge grant.

More than 100,000 students have graduated from Valencia, and more than 60,000 will enter our classrooms next week. Our professors and staff are committed to student success, which has resulted in extraordinary completion rates, jobs after graduation, and starting salaries.

These achievements earned Valencia the first-ever Aspen Institute Prize for community college academic excellence.

We are grateful for your consideration.

www.valencia.org/FirstOne

valencia students benefit from a taste for learning

More than 800 people came together on Sept. 15 to support education in our local community. A Taste for Learning, an international wine sampling and auction, was held at Rosen Shingle Creek to benefit Valencia Foundation and Orlando Health Foundation.

Making this event unique, 100 percent of all sponsorships, tickets and auction receipts are given directly to student health care scholarships at Valencia and medical education at Orlando Health. The Valencia portion of the funds will be matched by a challenge grant.

For this year’s tasting and auction, ABC Fine Wine and Spirits invited vintners from around the world to donate hundreds of bottles of their finest wines, as well as providing exceptional auction items. Nearly 100 come to Orlando from throughout the country, as well as Australia, France, Italy, Germany and Spain.

Proceeds for this year’s event total $290,000 (including match). In all, six Taste events have raised $2.26 million for student support and education.

The numbers reflect the successful partnership between the two organizations, Valencia Foundation and Orlando Health Foundation, but also reflect the lives transformed for those receiving a scholarship at Valencia.

Every dollar raised makes a difference in a student’s life. It offers opportunity to students like Edinson. Edinson was raised in a country where education was a luxury. Those who could afford the expensive tuition were able to increase their knowledge, while low income families like his were denied access.

Edinson was a student speaker at a recent foundation event.

He came to America and quickly overcame the language barrier, knowing this knowledge would provide new opportunities. Once he was able to communicate, he felt he was a part of his new country. But alone in this country, with no friends or family to guide him, Edinson still struggled and spent months with no place to sleep. Often he would escape to the safety of the public library, and he soon met people at a local homeless shelter who encouraged him to pursue his dream of becoming an elementary school teacher.

Edinson found a mentor, and eventually secured a job washing dishes. He is still grateful to the employees of the small diner in Philadelphia for instilling a strong American work ethic.

Next on his list was an education. He enrolled but soon found himself overwhelmed juggling his work and school schedules. Additionally, he was supporting his mother, back in her native Peru. Edinson faced a heartbreaking decision: should he stay in college continuing his dream while his mother suffers? After three months of trying to do it all, the economic responsibility overcame Edinson and he gave up his dream of an education – temporarily, because he knew he would always go back to college one day.

Summer 2010, Edinson came to Valencia and resurrected his dream of a higher education. Since arriving at Valencia, he has been in the honors program and has maintained a 3.5 GPA. Almost finished with his associate degree at Valencia, he plans to continue on at UCF with a bachelor’s degree in elementary education.

Of his dream and his journey, Edinson shares, “I hope that our present and future generations realize that education is the only way to be successful. I plan to teach not only basic education to my elementary students, but also that diligence to your dream will make it come true.”

This year’s generous sponsors for A Taste for Learning were ABC Fine Wine and Spirits, Rosen Shingle Creek, McCree General Contractors and Architects, Freeman Co., Orlando Magic, Walt Disney World Resort, Bright House Networks, Central Florida Hotel and Lodging Association, CliftonLarsonAllen LLP, Edlen Electrical Exhibition Services of Orlando Inc., Orlando Health, Valencia College, Betsy and Jess Bailes, Baker Hostetler, Charles Perry Partners Inc., Clancy and Theys Construction Company, Dr. Jay and Mrs. Randye Falk, Jack Holloway Foundation, Old Florida National Bank, SeaWorld Parks & Resorts Orlando, Signature Systems of Florida, Skanska USA Building, Terra Firma Construction Management Inc., UCF – Regional Campuses, Universal Orlando Resort and Wolverine Anesthesia Consultants.

wine and winners – vino and vittles

At the September 15 international wine sampling and silent auction the venue, the libations, the scrumptious treats and silent auction items are donated.  So, 100% of every dollar you give for tickets, sponsorships and auction items goes to support learning!

a taste for learning video

Great work by Valencia student Wally Argueta. Our students are the best!

anyone hungry? great food offerings at a taste for learning!

Thank you to all our master chefs and restaurants who will be providing delicious treats for A Taste for Learning on Saturday, Sept. 15!

BB King’s Blues Club
Bubbalou’s Bodacious Bar-B-Que, Alafaya/UCF location
Cabin Creek Catering
Fiorella’s Cucina Toscana at the Westin Imagine Orlando
Godiva Chocolatier
Raphsodic Bakery
Tobias Flats & Watering Hole
Mi Casa Tequila Taqueria
Tommy Bahama’s Restaurant & Bar

Tickets are $125 each or $200 per couple, and are available at www.ATasteforLearning.com.

a taste for learning – april 2

In light of recent economic struggles, many local residents are turning to higher education as the key to new employment opportunities and job security. While things seem to be looking up for many families, finances can still be tight, especially when including the ever rising costs of tuition and books that can make paying for college seem impossible.

To increase access to higher education and bolster scholarship funding, Valencia Foundation and UCF Foundation are partnering once again to host A Taste for Learning on Saturday, April 2, at Rosen Shingle Creek. An international wine sampling and auction, A Taste for Learning expects to draw over 1,000 attendees to raise monies for scholarships that support students who are the first in their families to attend college. Making this event unique, 100 percent of all sponsorships, tickets and auction receipts are given directly to student scholarships and are eligible to earn dollar-for-dollar match through the Florida First Generation in College matching grant program.

Tickets for A Taste for Learning are $125 per person or $200 per couple and can be purchased online at http://www.VALENCIA.org/taste.

When A Taste for Learning was first proposed in 2005 by Valencia Foundation board member Jess Bailes, ABC Fine Wine & Spirits executive vice president, the idea was to create an event that could be sustained by the support of community partners donating all the necessary items for the event. The generosity of those willing to contribute everything needed, the venue, food, wines, auction items and décor for the event, has resulted in $1.67 million dollars going straight to deserving students in need.

2011 will mark the second year that Valencia and UCF have collaborated on A Taste for Learning to raise funds for 2+2 scholarships for the DirectConnect program. DirectConnect is an initiative guaranteeing admission to UCF for all Valencia graduates, and is the most successful community college/university partnership in the nation.

For this year’s tasting and auction, ABC Fine Wine & Spirits has invited wineries from around the world to donate hundreds of bottles of their finest wines, as well as providing exceptional auction items. Each year about 100 visit from throughout the country, as well as Australia, France, Italy, Germany and Spain.

Gourmet hors d’oeuvres and sample entrée selections from Rosen Shingle Creek, Artist Point at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge WALT DISNEY WORLD® Resort and Fiorella’s Cucina Toscana, among others, will be served during the event.

This year’s generous sponsors include ABC Fine Wine & Spirits, Rosen Shingle Creek, Freeman, Orlando Health, Orlando Magic, Walt Disney World Resort, Edlen Electrical Exhibition Services of Orlando Inc., Jack Holloway Foundation, LarsonAllen LLP, Orlando Event Photographers, Central Florida Hotel and Lodging Association, FAIRWINDS Credit Union, Fifth Third Bank, Paul and Mary Ann Kinser, McCree General Contractors & Architects, PPI Construction Management Inc., SeaWorld, Aquatica and Discovery Cove, Skanska USA Building Inc., Terra Firma Construction Management, Signature Systems of Florida, Universal Orlando Resort and Williams Company.

For more information or to make a donation, please call (407)582-3150 or visit www.VALENCIA.org.

restaurant sponsors for A Taste for Learning

Please visit http://www.valencia.org/taste for tickets and event information. If you wish to turn the event into a sparkling weekend, reserve your room with a special Taste for Learning rate.

Thank you just doesn’t seem like enough when restaurants come with decor, fresh signature dishes, supportive staff and nothing but enthusiasm for scholarships. Thanks to our restaurant sponsors that have already commited to this year’s A Taste for Learning!

– Rosen Shingle Creek
– Fiorella’s Cucina Toscana
– P.F. Chang’s China Bistro

I know that we are greteful for their continued support of our mission, and look forward to the many goodies that they will provide this year.

If you or someone you know is interested in being a restaurant sponsor, please contact Valencia Foundation at (407) 582-3150 or foundation@valenciacollege.edu. See you there!

wine sampling to benefit valencia and ucf students

Visit http://www.valencia.org/taste for tickets and event information. If you wish to turn the evening into a sparkling weekend, reserve your room with a special Taste for Learning rate.

A Taste for Learning, April 2, 2011 at Rosen Shingle Creek is our second  joint philanthropic event between Valencia Community College and University of Central Florida. 

Vintners from around the around the globe bring their finest wines and spirits, local donor chefs fire up the grills to provide their best cuisine, and hundreds of supporters gather for an evening of fellowship and shopping for gifts, trips and experiences. The formula unites partners who donate every product for the event, including the venue, media, décor, food, wine and auction items.

 
The result? 100 percent of all sponsorships, tickets and auction receipts will go directly to scholarships and is eligible to earn dollar-for-dollar match through the state of Florida First Generation in College matching grant program, doubling a donor’s investment.

Please join us by inviting friends and colleagues, sponsoring a table and contributing auction items.

Become a Sponsor    
Become  a Service-In-Kind Sponsor   
Become a Silent Auction Gift-In-Kind Sponsor

Tickets are now on sale! Check out www.valencia.org/taste or call 407.582.3128 for more details.

you can sponsor taste…

As the foundation previously blogged, A Taste for Learning returns Saturday, April 2, 2011 to the Rosen Shingle Creek – thank you Rosen for hosting our event for a third year now!

an international wine sampling & auction

This joint philanthropic event between Valencia Community College and University of Central Florida will benefit our 2+2 scholarships for DirectConnect, which guarantees Valencia graduates a seat at UCF.

This event is truly a remarkable social event. Vintners from around the around the globe bring their finest wines and spirits (thank you ABC Fine Wine and Spirits) local donor chefs fire up the grills to provide their best cuisine, and hundreds of supporters gather for an evening of fellowship and shopping for gifts, trips and experiences. The formula unites partners who donate every product for the event, including the venue, media, décor, food, wine and auction items. The result? 100 percent of all sponsorships, tickets and auction receipts will go directly to scholarships and is eligible to earn dollar-for-dollar match through the state of Florida First Generation in College matching grant program, doubling a donor’s investment.

Please join us by inviting friends and colleagues, sponsoring a table and contributing auction items.

Become a Sponsor    
Become  a Service-In-Kind Sponsor   
Become a Silent Auction Gift-In-Kind Sponsor

Tickets go on sale soon! Check out www.valencia.org/taste or call 407.582.3150 for more details.

We hope to see you April 2!!!

Remember: 100 percent of each dollar given for tickets, auction items and sponsorships goes to scholarships and is eligible to earn dollar-for-dollar match through the state of Florida First Generation in College matching grant program, doubling your investment.

directconnect

I came across this great article featuring DirectConnect and how it’s impacted our students.

Check out the link, I hope you enjoy it. http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2010/01/08/directconnect

save your corks this holiday season

As you raise a glass in cheer and celebration this holiday season, please remember to save your corks. Funds are still being raised to support scholarships through ABC Fine Wine and Spirits and the Save the Corks! campaign. Now through the end of December, corks can be dropped off at participating ABC Fine Wine and Spirits locations. Through a partnership with Nomacorc and Terracycle, ABC will donate two cents per cork for scholarships. Matching funds will add another two cents per cork.

 For more information on Save the Corks!, visit www.abcfws.com#corks.

our thanks!

As Jill mentioned below we had a wonderful event this past Saturday. I wanted to send a personal thank you to our generous food sponsors. Our guests were captivated by signature food items that were provided for Taste 4!

It was an absolute pleasure to work with these fantastic  chefs and restaurants, and I look forward to working with each of them in the future. With the support of the these food vendors, ever single dollar raised goes directly to 2+2 scholarships for DirectConnect.

We would like to offer our special thanks for the gourmet food that was provided for this year’s event!

Fiorella’s Cucina Toscana – The Westin Imagine Orlando
Maggiano’s Little Italy
Bubbalou’s Bodacious Bar-B-Que
Hooters
Cala Bella, Rosen Shingle Creek
Executive Pastry Chef David Ramirez, Rosen Shingle Creek
Kouzzina by Cat Cora™ at Disney’s BoardWalk
Cabin Creek Food Services
B.B. King Blues Club
P.F. Chang’s China Bistro

an amazing taste

Saturday was amazing – another successful A Taste for Learning! The final numbers are being tallied, so be sure and check back to see how much was raised in support of Valencia and UCF 2+2 DirectConnect scholarships.

Thank you to all of our sponsors, attendees and volunteers – we appreciate your support! And remember, 100 percent of all sponsorships, tickets and auction receipts go directly to scholarships and is eligible to earn dollar-for-dollar match through the state of Florida First Generation in College matching grant program.

It definitely was a great time for a great cause!

save the corks!

Pic from Save the Corks Press Release

 

Save the Corks! ABC Fine Wine & Spirits Joins TerraCycle Program to Recycle Nomacorc Wine Closures

 

Nomacorc, the world’s leading producer of alternative wine closures, announced that ABC Fine Wine & Spirits, Florida’s oldest and largest independent wine and spirits retailer, has joined its innovative recycling program. Beginning in mid-September, ABC Fine Wine & Spirits will collect post-consumer use Nomacorc wine closures that will then be “upcycled” into unique consumer products by TerraCycle, which operates an established and well-respected national recycling program.

Through its Save the Corks! program, ABC Fine Wine & Spirits will host collection containers in which consumers can deposit used wine closures at nearly all of its 150 Florida retail locations. The collected closures will then be shipped to TerraCycle, which will “upcycle” the closures into eco-friendly consumer products made via low-energy consumption means.

“While all Nomacorc products are already 100% recyclable with LDPE food packaging, our upcycling program with TerraCycle and ABC Fine Wine & Spirits finds a new purpose for Nomacorc closures while supporting local charitable organizations and our own corporate environmental goals,” said Malcolm Thompson, vice president of marketing and innovation for Nomacorc.

Every wine closure collected and sent to TerraCycle adds $.02 in charitable giving. ABC Fine Wine & Spirits has designated the University of Central Florida and Valencia Community College, through the Valencia Foundation, as the initial recipients of the funds.

“For us, an important part of the program was the ability to raise funds for our charitable endeavors, while simultaneously giving wine consumers in Florida a ‘green’ option for their used wine closures,” said Charles Bailes, III, ABC’s chairman and president. “Florida is the third largest wine-consuming state in the country; it took us no time to realize what a difference we could make if people get in the habit of upcycling their wine closures.”

A major focus of ABC’s collection campaign is “A Taste for Learning,” an annual event sponsored by ABC Fine Wine & Spirits that supports the Valencia Foundation and University of Central Florida Foundation. “A Taste for Learning” is scheduled for October 17, 2009 and is expected to provide a strong boost to the collection efforts in ABC Fine Wine & Spirits stores statewide.

Nomacorc announced its upcycling program with TerraCycle in January 2009. As TerraCycle’s exclusive wine closure manufacturer partner, Nomacorc is leading the effort to identify and secure additional retail and winery sponsors for the closure recycling program.

About ABC Fine Wine & Spirits

Founded in 1936, Orlando, Florida, based ABC Fine Wine & Spirits is the country’s largest privately owned fine wine and spirits merchant, with approximately 150 retail stores spanning the Florida peninsula from Tallahassee to Miami, and 1600 employees. www.abcfws.com

A Taste for Learning, benefiting Valencia and UCF, is an annual wine tasting extravaganza for which everything, from venue to cuisine to wines to auction items, is donated, allowing 100% of the fundraising to go directly to scholarships for students of Valencia Community College and UCF. This year’s Taste partners with the University of Central Florida in recognition of the 2+2 DirectConnect program guaranteeing Valencia students a seat at UCF when they complete their associate’s degree. www.valencia.org/taste

About Nomacorc

Nomacorc is the worldwide leader in the growing alternative wine closure category. Dedicated to technological innovation, Nomacorc manufactures its portfolio of products using a patented co-extrusion process. As a result, Nomacorc closures provide consistent, predictable oxygen management and protect against off-flavors due to oxidation, reduction or cork taint. Nomacorc’s 100% recyclable products are available through a vast network of distributors and sales agents on six continents. With 500 employees worldwide and state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities in the United States, Belgium, Austria and China, Nomacorc produces more than 2 billion closures annually. Working with renowned wine research institutes worldwide, the company leads the wine closure industry in fundamental and applied research in the area of oxygen management in wine. For more information, visit http://www.nomacorc.com.

About TerraCycle

TerraCycle (www.terracycle.net) represents a new generation of company, putting as much emphasis on its social and environmental impact as its profits. In 2001, college freshman Tom Szaky founded TerraCycle in hopes of building a new, more responsible way of doing business. Since then, TerraCycle has revolutionized the industry by making eco-friendly and affordable products from waste materials.

TerraCycle provides jobs in the inner-city, provides free fundraisers for schools and non-profits and inspires kids nationwide to make a difference locally and globally. Join the TerraCycle eco-revolution by signing up for our free fundraising collection programs where we pay you for packaging like drink pouches, yogurt cups and more. To learn more about joining a TerraCycle brigade, go to www.terracycle.net/brigades.

Reprinted from: Nomacorc press release, Richards Partners for Nomacorc/Contact: Katie Myers, Zebulon, N.C., September 10, 2009.

a taste for learning invitation

Hi There!

Taste invitations are done and mailed. Yay! I know that some of you are racing home to check that mailbox now, but no worries! If you haven’t received your copy in the mail,  feel free to visit our website www.valencia.org/taste to purchase tickets today.

You can find additional information, including  an overview of the event, sponsorship information and a listing of our current restaurant partners. We have some great food waiting for you at Taste this year!

See you there!

a taste for learning and save the corks!

UCF Foundation and Valencia Foundation proudly join together to present A Taste for Learning on Saturday, October 17 from 7 to 10 p.m. at Rosen Shingle Creek. Tickets are $125 per person or $200 per couple.

Join us as vintners from around the world serve their finest wines and sample exquisite cuisine from restaurants like B.B. King’s Blues Club Orlando, Cala Bella Shingle Creek, P.F. Chang’s China Bistro and Uno Chicago Grill. Tempting auction items will include everything from travel to truffles, to wine and wild nights out. There’s something for everyone!

Funds raised at A Taste for Learning will benefit Valencia and UCF 2+2 DirectConnect scholarships. 100% of all sponsorships, tickets and auction receipts will go directly to scholarships and is eligible to earn dollar-for-dollar match through the state of Florida First Generation in College matching grant program, doubling your investment.

Visit www.valencia.org/taste today to get your tickets.

Can’t attend A Taste for Learning? There is still an opportunity for you to help – recycle your corks and upcycle our efforts through the Save the Corks! campaign. Now through the end of December, you are welcome to send your recycled corks to Valencia Foundation or take your corks to Save the Corks! containers at participating ABC Fine Wine and Spirits locations. Through a partnership with Nomacorc and Terracycle, ABC Fine Wine and Spirits will donate $.02 to A Taste for Learning for each cork recycled. And for those attending, be sure to bring your corks the night of the event – see you there!

fine wine and spirits

abclogo

A Taste for Learning would not be possible without the generosity and support of ABC Fine Wine & Spirits.

Through the sponsorship and support of ABC Fine Wine and Spirits, vintners from around the world will be pouring their finest wines. Join us on October 17 and speak and mingle with international winemakers and vintners throughout the evening. The ABC leadership team works with us for six to eight months ahead of each event on planning and implementation, leveraging their professional relationships and bringing huge inkind sponsors to the table. The day before and day of the event, they unleash 75 or more logistics staff to unload product and set up the entire configuration. This represents an enormous commitment of time and talent, which is only a portion of ABC’s annual contribution to Valencia.

ABC, we appreciate you!
Thank you for all you continue to do for Valencia.

www.valencia.org/taste

thank you, thank you, thank you

With the foundation’s fourth signature fundraising event quickly approaching, we say thank you to Rosen Shingle Creek for graciously hosting A Taste for Learning on Oct. 17, 2009. This is the second year the event will be held at the Rosen and we are grateful for their support.

THANK YOU ROSEN SHINGLE CREEK!!!

We hope you’ll consider joining us on Oct. 17 to enjoy fellowship and a common intention of advancing education in our community.

Check us out: www.valencia.org/taste

the story behind taste for learning

tastecrinkle

Perhaps the biggest misconception about the green phenomenon is that it requires enormous sacrifice. Yet the contributions of many working together create renewable resources and sustainability, leading to a healthier planet and a brighter future.

Nowhere is that alchemy truer than in philanthropy. Donors to endowment sustain communities for generations to come.

Special event fundraising might not be considered part of the green equation; however, a very organic idea led to Valencia Foundation’s three fundraising events, A Taste for Learning, which have generated $1.2 million in scholarships for deserving students in need. Continue reading