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Veggie U fundraiser should be a tasty time for a good cause

Melissa Topey • Jul 8, 2014 at 9:30 AM


Spend some green to make a classroom grow something green.

Veggie U is hosting its 11th fundraiser supporting its classroom gardening program.

The Veggie U Food and Wine Celebration is moving this year to 180 Euclid Ave. in Cleveland, on Public Square. The fundraiser is scheduled from 7 p.m. - 10:30 p.m. on Saturday, July 19.

“Our goal is to provide great food and great fun for our guests but also to make sure the Veggie U story is told. Our number one purpose is to sustain classroom garden education both locally and nationally and our fundraiser will help us meet that goal,” said Nadia Clifford, Veggie U executive director, in a prepared statement.

The fundraiser previously took place on the grounds of the Culinary Institute in Milan. The logistics of the event grew too difficult for the original location as the celebration ballooned to more than 1,000 attendees and 30 chefs. There was very little preparation area at the outside venue. Chefs came from across the region and had to be put up in hotels, an expensive proposition for the group. Organizers with Veggie U scaled back this year to 13 chefs, all from the Cleveland area.

“We decided to make it smaller and intimate. It is tasting stations and you get to know the chefs and the pairings of food and wine,” said Vicki Jenkins, spokeswoman for Veggie U.

There will be a silent auction of 30 different special behind-the-scenes experiences, including Behind the Scenes of Playhouse Square, a tour of the area of Cleveland's West Side Farmers Market as well as Cleveland's Tremont neighborhood.

Veggie U is a non-profit children's education program that teaches kids the importance of nutrition and sustainable agriculture by providing kits and classroom lesson plans for kids to grow produce, learning life science along the way. Kids then get to harvest and feast on their hard work.

Tickets are $150 per person. To purchase tickets or for further information on the event visit www.VeggieUFoodandWine2014.Eventbrite.com or call 419-499-7500.

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