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April 17, 2012 > Taster's Showcase: Good eats for a good cause

Taster's Showcase: Good eats for a good cause

By Jessica Noel Flohr

Where can foodies, fans of Hollywood and parents find common ground? At the 17th Annual Taster's Showcase presented by Kidango. This annual event benefits early childhood development services offered by Kidango throughout the Bay Area. Local restaurants, wineries, and businesses have offered their services to make this an exceptional event. Auctions, entertainment, and delectable treats await!

The theme this year is "Celebrating the History of Old Hollywood." Fremont's Niles District was an inspiration for the Hollywood we know today, a local legacy for generations that followed and those yet to come. In the same way, the vital educational and developmental services provided by Kidango are leaving a legacy for future generations as well.

Showcase attendees will spend the afternoon mingling with celebrity impersonators and drifting from booth to booth to sample tasty offerings from local restaurants and wineries. Some of the 24 participants include: Elliston Winery, Federico's Tapas and Wine Bar, Fenestra Winery, Papillon, Spin A Yarn Steakhouse, Massimo's, and many more. A panel of judges led by Carmel, California, chef and author Mary Chamberlin will oversee a competition for the best presentation in food and beverage. Chamberlin trained in Paris at Le Cordon Bleu and La Varenne. She has published several culinary books including "The Traveling Soup Pot: A Savory Journey Through Many Lands."

In addition to many fabulous foodie delights, attendees at this business casual event will have the chance to bid on numerous vacation packages and other treats in a live auction. Sure to be a hit is a seven-day stay at a villa in Jamaica. Other auction items rounding out the list are a one-week stay in Tahoe at the Tahoe Keys Resort, a three-night stay at Gray Eagle Lodge, a year-long family membership for four at the Walt Disney Museum in San Francisco and a private tour of the museum for eight. Attendees can also bid on gift baskets created by Kidango center families. Each basket has a movie-related theme, such as a breakfast item basket named after "Breakfast at Tiffany's." Taster's Showcase is the organization's major fundraising event. Proceeds go toward enhancing the local centers' programs, purchasing supplies, and subsidizing field trips for students.

Kidango has been a local presence for over 30 years. Fifty-five childcare locations are spread throughout the Bay Area, with eight in Fremont, one in Newark, and six in Union City. More than just a daycare center, Kidango provides early childhood development services in the form of preschool for kids from birth to age five, before and after school care in San Jose for kids up to age 12, early intervention services, mental health care for young children, and nutritional information for children and their parents. "Inclusion classrooms" allow special needs kids and typically developing kids to work side-by-side. "We prepare children to excel academically by providing them with curriculum focused on social and emotional development. It's the best practice to prepare them for later learning opportunities," says Marc Baker, Kidango's Development and Communications Director.

Kidango enhances the lives of children and their parents. For example, a young mother of a Kidango child began to volunteer at her local childcare center and due to Kidango's scholarship program for low- to moderate-income families, she was able to go back to school and continue her education at Cal State East Bay. Enabling parents to continue to work or pursue educational goals benefits families and our local economy. Enjoy a culinary interlude and support a worthwhile organization Taster's Showcase.

17th Annual Taster's Showcase
Sunday, Apr 22
1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Marriott Fremont
41600 Landing Parkway, Fremont
(510) 897-6913

Tickets: $35 in advance, $45 at the door

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