College’s largest annual fundraiser, A Reason to Taste, raises another $100k for students and programs

Julia Child Impersonator at ARTT

In its seventh year, Saturday’s A Reason to Taste at Ivy Tech Community College Fort Wayne raised $100,000 for student scholarships and academic programs through the Ivy Tech Foundation. Donations came through corporate sponsorships, live auctions, and individual donations. Guests were also entertained by Julia Child impersonator Mary Ann Jung, who performs as Julia at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC.

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

“Our fantastic five-course French dinner was prepared and served by Ivy Tech culinary students and faculty,” says Margaret Sturm, executive director of Resource Development. “Graduates of the program and students who won the January 2018 European Competition expressed their gratitude to the donors who provided students an opportunity to travel to France and broaden their culinary experiences. The event showcased all aspects of Ivy Tech’s Hospitality Administration program.”

Parkview Health’s Curtis Smith emceed the event, which was hosted at Parkview Health’s Mirro Center for Research and Innovation. Parkview Health was the event’s presenting sponsor, as well.

Next year’s event is tentatively scheduled for November 2, 2019. Those who are interested in sponsorship opportunities and/or serving on next year’s planning committee can contact Sturm at or 260-480-2010. Donations to this year’s total can still be made at Check out two videos showed at the event on the College’s YouTube channel:

  • Jason Elkins and Lisa Rios are two of the students who won the Chopped-style European Competition at Ivy Tech Community College. The traveled to France to study the culinary arts with the other winners. In this video, they spoke about their experiences and a year in the life of a Hospitality Administration student. Watch the video here.
  • Krystal Vega, co-owner of Zinnia’s Bakehouse, and David Tomaszewski, co-owner of Summit City Brewerks, are graduates of Ivy Tech Fort Wayne. They are successful business owners who use their Ivy Tech education daily. Hear them talk about their experiences at Ivy Tech in this video.

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