Fort Wayne & NE Indiana News

The latest positive news written by residents and organizations in our community.

Ivy Tech Northeast Surpasses $100,000 Goal At Annual A Reason To Taste Fundraiser

In its fourth year, Ivy Tech Community College Northeast’s A Reason to Taste raised a record-breaking amount for the fundraiser: $116,000. Donations came through corporate sponsorships, silent and live auctions, and individual donations. Money raised will benefit student scholarships and academic programs through the Ivy Tech Foundation.

Oliver Barie, the executive director of Resource Development, which is the College’s fundraising arm, credits the success of the event to a number of areas: The community sees value in the College’s mission. Ivy Tech Northeast’s Hospitality Administration program is one of the strongest in the state. Graduates go on to work in and open popular restaurants, bakeries, and cafés.

“Also our event is simply a lot of fun,” Barie says. “We offer the opportunity to enjoy incredible cuisine and fine wine in the company of friends, all the while knowing it benefits the students hosting it. Where else can you attend a gala dinner and have the opportunity to learn the tango?”

At A Reason to Taste: Flamenco & Flames, guests enjoyed a multi-course menu prepared by hospitality administration students who won an opportunity to study culinary arts in Spain and France for 10 days through the College’s European Competition. Students created the menu, cooked, and served the food at the fundraiser.

Melissa Long and Tommy Schoegler of 21Alive emceed the event. Long, who is retiring at the end of the year, received the College’s first Ivy Award for outstanding community service and leadership.

Those who are interested in sponsorship opportunities and/or serving on next year’s planning committee can contact Kelli Brandenberger at kbrandenberger or 260-481-2243.

Visit Ivy Tech Northeast’s A Reason to Taste’s website at to see photos from the event, which can be used for publication. There are also three attached here. (Captions below.)

Check out two videos on the College’s YouTube channel:

· Donna Kessler, owner of Calhoun Street Soup, Salad, & Spirits; and Melody Wang, co-owner of Fortezza, are alumni of the College’s Hospitality Administration program. They discuss the importance of fundraisers like A Reason to Taste:

· Teresa Herczeg and Chris Knowlton, two European Competition winners, traveled to France and Spain earlier this year and helped create Saturday’s menu:

Presenting sponsor Parkview Health; reception sponsors Plumbers and Steamfitters Local 166, Ambassador Enterprises, and Chop’s Wine Bar; and corporate table sponsors Barnes & Thornburg, BFGoodrich, Brooks Construction Company, Inc., C&A Tool Engineering, Inc., Carson Boxberger, Chuck and Lisa Surack and Sweetwater Sound, Do It Best Corp., Fort Wayne Metals, Frontier Communications, Greater Fort Wayne, Inc., Hagerman Construction, Ivy Tech Foundation, Lincoln Financial, Micropulse, Inc., PNC Bank, ProFed Credit Union, Tom Henry for Mayor Committee; media sponsor ABC 21Alive; and beverage sponsor Calhoun Street Soup, Salads, & Spirits.

Ivy Tech Community College is the state’s largest public postsecondary institution and the nation’s largest singly accredited statewide community college system. Ivy Tech has campuses throughout Indiana. It serves as the state’s engine of workforce development, offering affordable degree programs and training that are aligned with the needs of its community along with courses and programs that transfer to other colleges and universities in Indiana. It is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association.