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June 3, 2011 > A Taste of Hayward

A Taste of Hayward

By Julie Grabowski

Hayward unfurls its diverse culinary tablecloth for the first ever A Taste of Hayward. Hosted by the City of Hayward and the Hayward Public Library, this inaugural event will be held in the beautiful City Hall Rotunda and welcome the delicious wares of over 20 local wineries and 15 restaurants.

Attendees will enjoy offerings from restaurant and wine bar Neumanali, the Mexican flavors of Shark Shack, a taste of the Orient from Chef's China Bistro and a slice of Italian heaven courtesy of Buon Appetito. Buffalo Bill's Brew Pub will also be on hand pouring their handcrafted beer.

In addition to a wonderful collection of food and beverages, attendees can take part in raffles, silent auctions, and win door prizes. Raffle items include gift cards and six packs of wine, while the silent auction is comprised of about 50 items, with opportunities such as a private airplane ride around the Bay Area, police ride along, lunch with the mayor, lunch with the police chief, and dinner at the firehouse, as well as various wine items.

Proceeds from the event benefit the library's After School Homework Support Center. The program was established through a grant from the Department of Education in 2009 and has been in operation for two full school years. The center welcomes all students K-12th grade and targets at risk youth, such as those kids whose parents may not speak, read or write English at home.

Help is offered at both the Main Library (835 C St.) and the Weeks Branch (27300 Patrick Ave.) during the school year, Monday through Wednesday from 3:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m., and Thursdays from 3 p.m. - 5 p.m. Centers have 25 laptop computers with free Internet access and free printing for homework needs, and are volunteer driven. There are eight to ten tutors available at a time, providing a three to one ratio for students. Tutors use learning manipulatives, visual aids, and handouts to assist with learning. The program has worked with over 150 volunteer tutors from retired teachers to business professionals who have donated thousands of hours to the youth of Hayward. Nearly 800 non-duplicated students have been helped this school year, a sizeable jump from last year's 600.

"The kids are very active in trying to get themselves help," says Homework Center Coordinator Lindsey Vien. Yet they in turn need the support of the community. Vien says they are always in need of supplies, from paper and pencils to dictionaries and treats for the prize box. Many things that might no longer be of use to you could be a great asset to the center, whose resources have mainly been established through donations.

"Funding raised from the Taste of Hayward will support the Library's expanding partnership with the Hayward Unified School District and the opening of a Homework Support Center at Longwood Elementary," says Vien. "Proceeds will be used to purchase books (which will be available in a site book vending machine) to support curriculum being studied in schools."

"It's a worthy place to direct the funds," says Event Director Jack Papazian. "It supports the kids in Hayward." While a monetary goal has not been set, Papazian says they're hoping 300 people will attend the event.

A Taste of Hayward is a great way to become familiar with local dining opportunities as well as a chance to support local youth and provide for our future.

Tickets are $30 in advance and may be purchased at the Hayward Main Library and City Hall. They will cost $40 at the door on the day of the event. Dress is business casual. For more information or tickets contact Jack Papazian at (510) 828-7459. To learn more about the After School Homework Support Center contact Lindsey Vien at (510) 881-7535.

A Taste of Hayward
Wednesday, June 8
5:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
City Hall Rotunda
777 B St., Hayward
(510) 828-7459
Tickets: $30 in advance, $40 at the door

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