Area residents will have the chance to support the Red Cross cause as well as local businesses in March.
The fourth annual Savor the Flavor: A Taste of Chautauqua County will be held on Sunday, March 17, at the Jamestown Savings Bank Arena from noon to 3 p.m.
According to Kathy Burch, assistant executive director for the Southwestern New York Red Cross branch, "A Taste of Chautauqua County" is an event that local caterers and restaurants can showcase food, and is also a great way for the community to donate.
A sampling of the wines available from Merritt Estate Winery at “Savor the Flavor” are shown at top. Shown above are an assortment of goodies that were available at last year’s “Savor the Flavor: A Taste of Chautauqua County,” presented by the Southwestern New York Red Cross branch.
"Our Savor the Flavor event is a unique opportunity for our community members to get together for a fun afternoon of tasting the best food and beverages available in Chautauqua County," said Burch, event organizer. "We look forward to the tasty treats and good company."
The cost of admission to the event is $25, and will include samplings from a total of 16 local restaurants, caterers and wineries. The businesses currently committed to attending include: 21 Brix Winery, 3Cs Catering, Athenaeum Hotel at Chautauqua Institution, Cibo of Jamestown, The Corner Coffeehouse and Bistro, Elegant Edibles, The Harbor Grill, Hometown Grill, Horseshoe Inn, Merritt Estate Winery, Mexicali Burrito Co., The Payne Pantry, Ruby Tuesdays, Rudy'z Pizza, Wegmans and Wing City Grille.
"For the vendors, the event offers new opportunities to reach out to people who are in need of a special event caterer in the future, and for the public to try something new," said Burch.
Robert Cross, owner of 3Cs Catering, agrees that the event is a great way to reach out to new clients and visit with old friends, he said.
"Savor the Flavor is a great event to bring the county together for great cause," said Cross. "From a vendor standpoint, ... we have gained many new clients from our participation in this event."
The event is held each year to raise funds that Red Cross uses to offer vital services to residents of Chautauqua County. Just by attending the event and paying the admission fee, guests will be supporting the Red Cross cause. But, in addition, an auction of various items will be held as a fundraiser. Some examples of items include: a knife set from Cutco, an in-season overnight stay package from Chautauqua Institution, as well as packages from area merchants.
"The funds will be used for our programs right here in the county," said Burch. "Compared to last year, for fires and people who we help throughout the county, our disaster services are up almost 50 percent. ... Whether it be a family needing food, clothing and shelter after a home fire in the middle of a night, or an emergency message that needs to be sent to a member of our Armed Forces, the Red Cross is waiting to help those in need."
The event will be held at Jamestown Savings Bank Arena for another year because the venue has been a great host, said Burch.
"It's a great atmosphere, and it works out to be a really nice venue for the event," said Burch.
The event wouldn't be possible without the generosity of the community and local businesses, said Burch. This year's sponsors include Wegmans, Star Media Group, National Grid, Shults Auto Group, Chautauqua Institution, Jamestown Macadam Inc., Kinzua Lake Campground, Southern Chautauqua Federal Credit Union, and Gary's CARSTAR.
The Red Cross Savor the Flavor event originated seven years ago with Taste of Allegany County. Now the event is held annually in Chautauqua, Allegany and Cattaraugus counties. Each year the event features about 15 vendors, and more than 250 people attend.
"Because it's been such a great success, once we merged with the other two counties we started doing it in each one," said Burch.
A Taste of Allegany County will be held from noon to 3 p.m. on Sunday at the Cuba VFW and a Taste of Cattaraugus County is scheduled for noon to 3 p.m. Sunday, March 10, at the Olean Elks Lodge.
Tickets to A Taste of Chautauqua County, held on Sunday, March 17, from noon to 3 p.m., are available at the Jamestown Red Cross office or at the door of the Jamestown Savings Bank Ice Arena. Guests must be 21 or older to attend. For more information call 664-5115 or visit www.redcross.org/swny.