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GCT Extra

Taste of the Town
SWFL’s taste event adds restaurants, celebrity judges and entertainment

To date, 40 restaurants have signed up to participate in Taste of the Town.

To date, 40 restaurants have signed up to participate in Taste of the Town.

Southwest Florida knows how to dish out flavor!  And for the Junior League of Fort Myers 32nd Annual Taste of the Town, it’ll be a tasty Grub Street all around.

On Sunday, November 2nd, for the second year in a row, JetBlue Park, the Boston Red Sox’s 106-acre Spring Training and Player Development Complex, will transform into the ultimate “tasting” event.

Since 1982, Taste of the Town is the signature fundraiser for the Junior League of Fort Myers, an organization that reaches out to individuals who demonstrate an interest in and commitment to voluntarism.  As one of the largest outdoor food and entertainment festivals, it draws nearly 10,000 people annually,

To date, 40 restaurants have signed up to participate in the annual event including: Aurelio’s Pizza, Bahama Breeze, Ben & Jerry’s, Bice Grand Café, Burger 21, BurgerQue, Cabana’s Beach Bar, Connors Steak & Seafood, Cru, Doc Ford’s Rum Bar & Grille, EE-TO-LEET-KE Grill, El Gaucho Inca, Famous Dave’s BBQ, Fathoms Restaurant, First Street Deli, Ft. Myers Ale House, Grace & Shelly’s Cupcakes, Hooters, Iguana Mia, India Palace, Kona Ice, Lazy Flamingo, LongHorn Steakhouse, Marker 92, Norman Love Artisan Gelato, Origami, Papa Murphy’s Pizza, Parrot Key, Pho Vinh Express, Pinchers Crab Shack, Reuben’s Smokehouse & Catering, Ruth’s Chris Steak House, Stevie Tomato’s Sports Page, Ted’s Montana Grill, Texas Roadhouse, Texas Tony’s BBQ Shack, The Big Game, The Bubble Room, The Melting Pot, The Sandy Hook and The Sandy Parrot.

Live entertainment will include CTO High Voltage, the Ben Allen Band, Model Citisin and Little Eddie & The Fat Fingers.  The entertainment will cover genres including country, 90s Rock and today’s hits.

Prior to the annual Taste of the Town food festival, participating restaurants have the opportunity to present their dishes in the “Best of Taste” contest with local celebrities judging the following categories: Best Appetizer, Best Entrée and Best Dessert.  Judging will take place on Tuesday, Oct. 21 at JetBlue Park.  The dish with the most overall points is also given the “Winner’s Circle” award for best overall dish.  Winners in each category will be listed at each restaurant’s booth, announced the day of the event, given a certificate to display in their restaurant and mentioned in a special press release announcing the winners in each category.

This year’s celebrity judges include: Mark Loren, Kathryn Kelly, Drew Sterwald, Mike Duvall, Chris Fennell, Katie Haas, Brett Bodine and Representative Matt Caldwell.

The funds from this annual event benefit the JLFM, whose volunteer mission provides thousands of dollars annually in volunteer services and donations to programs supporting women and children in the region.  These programs include the Junior League’s national program Kids in the Kitchen to help fight childhood obesity, the ongoing work with at-risk girls in the juvenile justice system, as well as work throughout the community in partnership with many organizations through the League’s Helping Hands program.

Last year’s event raised more than $114,000 for these organizations.

“Supporting the community never tasted so good,” said Sasha Warren, 2014-2015 president of JLFM.  “This event is so much more than a fundraiser; it’s a win-win for our community.  Taste of the Town promotes and supports local businesses and the musical arts, creates resources for community service and brings our community together.”

- The 32nd Annual Taste of the Town will take place on Sunday, November 2 from 11 am to 5 pm at JetBlue Park, located at 11500 Fenway South Drive in Fort Myers, FL.  For more information about the JLFM League or the event, call (239) 277-1197 or visit


Fore 4 Kids
Golf Tournament and Drawing to benefit Golisano Children’s Hospital

Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida is part of Lee Memorial Health System in Lee County, Florida.

Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida is part of Lee Memorial Health System in Lee County, Florida.

Lee Memorial Health System Foundation is pleased to announce the “Fore 4 Kids” Golf event set for Saturday, November 22 at Pelican Preserve Golf Club in Fort Myers.  The event will give participants the opportunity to win a 2015 Audi A3 convertible donated by Audi Fort Myers and event proceeds will be used to help provide lifesaving care through Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida’s capital campaign.

“Golisano Children’s Hospital is pleased to partner with this wonderful event,” said Ken Shoriak, Director of Foundation Operations.  “Fore 4 Kids is a great, and easy, way for anyone to help local kids receive the care they so desperately need and deserve.  We are grateful for the tremendous support provided by the lead sponsors and ask others to come out and have a great time while helping a great cause.”

Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida is part of Lee Memorial Health System in Lee County, Florida.  It is the only acute care children’s hospital between Tampa and Miami.  The children’s hospital opened in 1994 within HealthPark Medical Center and had its name changed to Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida in 2012. 

Lee Memorial Health System Foundation, the primary fund raising entity for Golisano Children’s Hospital, is currently engaged in a major capital campaign to enhance pediatric hospital care in Southwest Florida by building a new 292,000 square foot, 128-bed children’s hospital on the campus of HealthPark Medical Center.  So, Fore 4 Kids will contribute to the foundations major goal. 

The fun kicks-off with registration starting at 11 am followed by lunch and a 1 pm shotgun start.  After hitting the links, golfers and their guests will enjoy dinner and a special post-tournament concert showcasing the talents of Major League Baseball star Bronson Arroyo.  Guests will also have the chance to bid on a variety of auction items sure to pique the interest of anyone in attendance. 

Sponsorship and participation levels range from $150 to $7,500 and provide ample opportunities for business and individual participation.  A single golf slot is just $250 and includes entry into the chance drawing to win the Audi A3. 

Single tickets for entry into the chance drawing are available for only $100.  No more than 500 tickets will be sold and the drawing will take place at the conclusion of the tournament; you need not be present to win.

In addition to Audi Fort Myers, major event sponsors include Wolf, Metzger, Maurillo & Banfield Wealth Management Group of Wells Fargo Advisors and Gator MADE Golf. 

In the spirit of golf, the Fort Myers wholesale golf accessory company, Gator MADE Golf, which provides ball markers, hat clips and divot tools to country clubs and retail golf outlets nationwide says they joined the cause to bring about a daylong event filled with fun, laughter and entertainment that will last a lifetime.

“The Golisano Children’s Hospital is an extremely important asset to our community,” says Gator Made Golf Owner, Trey Draper.  “We are excited to join the Fore 4 Kids tournament to spread the idea that as a community we can bring healing to the future of Southwest Florida for years to come.”

- To sponsor, register for the tournament or purchase chance-drawing tickets, contact Christin Collins at or (239) 343-6062.