Fundraiser helps local non-profits
By Jeff Harrison
Midwest City Beacon
They say that absence makes the heart grow fonder.
It was certainly true with Taste of Midwest City which returned last week after a three-year absence.
The Leadership Midwest City Class hosted the fundraiser April 18 at the Reed Conference Center. Guests enjoyed food, drinks and desserts from several local restaurants and vendors. The event also included a silent auction, raffle for a shotgun, live music, photobooth and more.
More than 400 people and 27 total vendors attended the event.
Guests were able to vote on their favorite restaurant or vendor. Pelican’s won the contest. The Underground Coffee was second and HeavenLee BBQ was third.
Taste of Midwest City is traditionally put on by Leadership Midwest City as the final class project. The Leadership program is sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce as a way to promote leadership and community and civic engagement. The group learns about different parts of the community through visits and tours of the Atkinson Heritage Center, Mid-Del Food Pantry, Rose State, SSM Health Midwest, City Hall and more.
This year’s Leadership Class included Whitney Avis, Brittany Billy, Daniel Birge, Malana Bracht, Gregory Burgess, Serena Campbell, Nicholas Dorety, Autumn Everett, Matthew Harp, Angelisha Henderson, Laura Henry, Jacob Hussain, Shari Lopp, Dylan Marone, Rebecca Odom, Tracey Owens, Kevin Sendall, Christie Smith, Kelly Smithee, Paula Thompson, Frank Valley, Julie Waddle, Aaron York, and Isabella York.
The group raised more than $25,000. They plan to donate money to local non-profit organizations including Leah’s Hope, Mid-Del Food Pantry, Mid-Del Group Home and Hard Luck Auto.
“This year’s Taste of Midwest City was a huge success,” said Julie Waddle, president of Leadership Midwest City Class of 2023. “It was so much fun working with so many community leaders to make this event happen for the first time since 2019. Thank you to all of our donors and sponsors for making it possible. And a big thank you to our wonderful vendors for providing delicious refreshments to over 400 attendees,”
The last Taste of Midwest City event was organized by the Leadership Midwest City Alumni Association in 2019. The Chamber canceled the Leadership program that year due to low attendance and members of the Alumni group volunteered to organize the event.
The event was canceled due to the pandemic in 2020 and 2021. Last year, the Leadership Class hosted a similar event in which people were asked to dine at local restaurants on certain nights.