Inside Ivy Tech: Beethoven-themed fundraising gala brings in more than $90k

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The night belonged to German composer Ludwig van Beethoven, as well as his many admirers.

In its sixth year, A Reason to Taste–the largest annual fundraising event for Ivy Tech Community College’s Fort Wayne Campus–was influenced by German classical music and cuisine. The charitable gala raised more than $90,000 on Oct. 28.

Donations to the Ivy Tech Foundation came through corporate sponsorships, silent and live auctions, and individual donations and benefited student scholarships, academic programs, and the Ivy Tech Titans Baseball Program. (The Ivy Tech Titans is a self-supported intercollegiate athletics baseball team that will begin formal play in the spring).

“I asked one of the donors after, did she have fun,” says Margaret Sturm, executive director of Resource Development. “She was at a table where she didn’t know anyone. She said, ‘You don’t need to know anyone because we’re all here for the same reason. It’s for the students, so everybody has something in common.’”

Students who won the European Competition at Ivy Tech’s Fort Wayne Campus in January created the menu and prepared the dinner for A Reason to Taste guests on Oct. 28.

At A Reason to Taste: Moonlight Sonata, guests were entertained by Beethoven’s compositions, and they enjoyed a multi-course menu prepared by students in Hospitality Administration who won an opportunity to study culinary arts in France and Germany this spring. Those students were winners of the College’s European Competition, hosted in January. They created the fundraiser’s menu based on their trip, and they cooked the dinner at the fundraiser.

Linda Jackson of Fort Wayne’s NBC emceed the event, which was hosted at Parkview Health’s Mirro Center for Research and Innovation. Donna Packnett, a community volunteer who has worked with A Reason to Taste since its inception, won the evening’s Ivy Award, which is presented to someone who exhibits outstanding community service and leadership in northeast Indiana.

Next year’s event is tentatively scheduled for mid-October. Those who are interested in sponsorship opportunities and/or serving on next year’s planning committee can contact Sturm at msturm7@ivytech.edu or 260-480-2010. Donations to this year’s total can still be made at IvyTech.edu/reason.

Thompson and Nance

Approximately 220 guests were entertained by Emily Thompson and Robert Nance, who played a variety of Beethoven’s late 18th- and early 19th-century compositions.

VIDEOS
Check out two videos broadcast at the event and featured on the College’s YouTube channel:

  • Lawrence Davis and Lydia Yaste are two of eight students who won the Chopped-style European Competition at Ivy Tech Fort Wayne in January. They traveled to France and Germany to study the culinary arts with the other winners. Based on the trip, the group helped create the menu for A Reason to Taste: be/MZY3opNm_9Q
  • Hospitality Administration chair Jeff Albertson and Richard Owens, a student in the program, talk about Grasshopper, the College’s food truck. A portion of the money raised at A Reason to Taste will benefit the food truck’s operation: be/5uLilHmlwPQ

SPONSORS
Presenting sponsor: Parkview Health

Reception sponsor: Plumbers & Steamfitters Local Union 166

Beverage sponsor: Calhoun Street Soups, Salads, & Spirits

Corporate sponsors: 80/20, Inc., Auburn Gear, BFGoodrich, Barnes & Thornburg, LLP, Brooks Construction Company, Inc., Fort Wayne Metals, Greater Fort Wayne Inc., Hagerman Construction Group, Ivy Tech Foundation, The James Foundation, Inc., Kelley Automotive, Lincoln Financial Foundation, PNC Bank, Questa Foundation, STAR Financial Bank, Sweetwater Sound, Whitley Manufacturing Co., Inc.

Media sponsor: Fort Wayne’s NBC

Event partners: A Party Apart, Armstrong Flowers, Cap ‘n Cork, Coplin Piano Service, Schrader Real Estate and Auction Co.

Entertainment: Emily Thompson, violin; Robert Nance, piano

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