Taste of Edwardsville raises $100,000 to support families facing medical crisis
Over 20 restaurants, breweries and 500 self-described “foodies” came together on Saturday, May 20 to support Taste of Edwardsville. The event highlights the culinary talents of local restaurant owners through unique food samplings and drink options. Taste of Edwardsville benefits Edwardsville Neighbors, a local 501(c)3 nonprofit that supports District 7 families facing medical or emergency hardship.
“We’ve missed holding this event so much and to be able to raise $100,000 in our first year back is incredible,” said Edwardsville Neighbor’s Co-Founder Chad Opel. “Taste of Edwardsville is by far our biggest fundraiser and these funds all go directly to help families in our community. We step in and help them pay medical bills, mortgage payments or other bills to provide some relief during a stressful and sometimes very traumatic point in their lives. If the pandemic taught us anything, it’s that everyone needs a little help sometimes and that’s what we’re here to do.”
Edwardsville Neighbors was founded in 2010 by Chad and Kathie Opel and actively seeks nominations for families facing medical hardship within the Edwardsville School District’s boundaries. In its first decade, the organization contributed over $1 million in direct assistance to individuals and families across District 7.
Taste of Edwardsville, which includes live music and a silent auction, started in 2009 but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this marked the first time in three years that it has been held in its normal format. This year’s event was held in the heart of downtown at The Ink House at 117 N. Second Street and was the first event to be held in their newly expanded space called ‘Off the Record.’
Participating restaurants included: Neighbors Bakeshop, Source Juicery, Clementine’s Naughty & Nice Creamery, Plaid Coffee Roasters, Peel Wood Fired Pizza, Moussalli’s Prime, Big Daddy’s Edwardsville, 1933 House of Bourbon, Teaspoons Café, Foundry Public House, Drunken Fish, Bella Milano Edwardsville, 1818 Chophouse, @1818 Offshore, Wang Gang Asian Eats, Chappy’s Edwardsville, Chava’s Mexican Restaurant, Edwardsville, Blue Violet, Edison’s Entertainment Complex, 222 Artisan Bakery and Edley’s Bar-B-Que.
“We’re so incredibly thankful to all of the participating restaurants, business partners and members who make this event possible,” said Edwardsville Neighbor’s Co-Founder Kathie Opel. “We couldn’t do it without them. The community has also been so amazingly supportive of this event. We couldn’t have asked for a better turnout.”
Edwardsville Neighbors has distributed over $1.3 million to District 7 families facing medical crises since its inception. The nonprofit is comprised of a 12-person volunteer board, that organizes fundraising events throughout the year to support the nonprofit including the annual Turkey Trot 5K on Thanksgiving morning in addition to Taste of Edwardsville. Last year, they also opened a nonprofit bakery in the Whispering Heights development called Neighbors Bakeshop, as an additional way to broaden their community outreach opportunities.
For more information about Edwardsville Neighbors, or to nominate a family who needs assistance, go to https://edwardsvilleneighbors.org.