November 4, 2011 – For immediate release
Re: 18th Annual Taste of Bonita
Contact: Mary Shallies 239-331-1432
18TH ANNUAL TASTE OF BONITA coming to riverside park
The 18th Annual Taste of Bonita, presented by The Rotary Club of Bonita Springs Noon, takes place Saturday and Sunday, November 19th and 20th at Riverside Park on Old 41 in Bonita Springs.
The weekend event kicks off with a free concert on Saturday, featuring Jimmy Buffet Tribute band, The Caribbean Chillers, from 5:30 to 9:00 pm. Food and drinks will be available for sale the night of the concert. Concert goers are encouraged to bring their lawn chairs, but coolers and pets are not allowed.
On Sunday, approximately twenty seven area restaurants will offer a wide array of dishes from pizza to wings and pasta to seafood. Current restaurants participating include Survey Café, Fitzgerald’s, Cirella’s, The Fish House, Ted’s Montana Grill, Royal Scoop, Tony Sacco’s, Johnny Malloys, Randy’s Fish Market Restaurant, Paradise Shrimp, Tropical Smoothie Cafe, Daniela’s, For Heaven Shakes, Coconut Jacks, The Stage, Pett-zza’s, Carrabba’s, Outback Steak House, Big Hickory Grill, and First Watch. Most dishes range from 3 to 5 tickets per serving and tickets cost $1.00 a piece. Beer, Naked Grape wine, margaritas, soda and water will also be available for sale.
New to this year’s Taste is a silent auction. Included in the auction is a one year boat club membership to Baywater Boat Exclusive Boat Club in Bonita Springs. The membership is valued at $6,000.00. Minimum bid will start at $2,500.00. Other auction items include jewelry, spa and beauty packages, hotel stays, a sunset cruise, restaurant certificates, and golf. Winning bids will be collected and announced at 4 p.m. Winners not in attendance at the announcement time will be notified by phone. “We have worked hard to assemble auction packages that will include a wide variety of highly desirable products and services for men and women and provide a great value to the winning bidder,” says auction chair, Kim Pitts. “We anticipate the annual boat club membership will be one of the most sought after items!”
Additional highlights of the event include live music throughout the day by The Manipulators, Southwest Florida based band that play a wide genre of cover songs, from rock to blues to pop. “We really enjoy playing the Taste of Bonita. It’s got a friendly, hometown vibe that few other events can match,” says Manipulators drummer, Dan Odem.
Laura Bruenig, whose company, Florida Veterinary Referral Center, is sponsoring the kids play area, offers her reasons for supporting Taste of Bonita: “This is a local event that raises money for great causes and we are glad to be a part of it.” The children’s play area will feature games and activities, including a bounce house, rock climbing wall, laser tag and face painting. Golden Retriever Rescue of Southwest Florida will have pets available for adoption under the Florida Veterinary Referral Center tent as well. “Events like Taste of Bonita are ideal for us,” says, GRRSW President, Alesia Mata. “They allow potential foster parents and those interested in adoption to experience the dogs up close and kids really love it!”
Lee Memorial Health Systems, a VIP sponsor of Taste, will be providing free health screenings under their tent and the Blood Mobile will be on hand for those that wish to donate. “Good food, good times, good cause,” says Mary Briggs, spokesperson for Lee Memorial Health System and a Taste of Bonita sponsor. “It looks like the planning committee has gone all out again this year to arrange an enjoyable event that benefits the community. We are anticipating good participation at our bloodmobile and at our health screenings tent.”
“Every year The Taste of Bonita garners larger crowds and overwhelming support of not only residents, but also visitors to our area. This year, with the addition of the free kick off concert the night prior, silent auction, bloodmobile and health screenings, we believe the event will surpass previous years in the amount of money raised to support our club’s charitable giving, and provide a higher level of satisfaction for those attending,” said Taste chairperson, Tony Valego.
Admission and parking for the kick off concert and Taste of Bonita are free. Major support for Taste of Bonita has also been provided by The Ronto Group and Gulf Coast Coin and Jewelry.
The Rotary Club of Bonita Springs Noon was chartered in 1992. It currently has 52 members and meets Thursday’s at noon at The Spanish Wells clubhouse. The club also organizes and hosts an International Beer & Wine Tasting in April at Mercado in Naples. Events such as these provide the funding to support the club’s charitable giving throughout the year.