Kershen Bissette graduated from Southern Connecticut State.
Rotary Club of St. John is gearing up for its major fundraiser of the year on Saturday, November 13, from 6 to 11 p.m. at the Westin Resort and Villas ballroom.
The annual Flavors brings together many of Love City’s most popular restaurants, fine wines and live music for a great cause — sending St. John students to college who wouldn’t otherwise afford it.
Event planners have added new categories and ramped up the night’s silent auction in hopes of raising enough funds to send two students to college next year, explained Rotary member and Flavors executive chairperson Katherine Steinborn.
“This is a fundraiser and 100 percent of the money goes to sending local youth to college,” said Steinborn. “In the past we’ve always been able to send at least one student to college. We made the silent auction bigger and better because we want to be able to send two kids to college.”
Flavors planners have lowered ticket prices even further this year to attract a larger, and more diverse, crowd. Tickets are now $70 for residents with food handlers cards, $90 for tickets purchased in advance and $100 at the door.
“We really want to get the young people out and especially the young people who work in the food industry,” said Steinborn. “We want to honor what they’re doing and make it more affordable for them to come out and enjoy Flavors.”
At the event, restaurants offer samples of their best food and a group of secret judges determine “Best Of” appetizers, entrees, desserts, bar food and mixologists. The crowd also gets in on the action by selecting the best overall presentation.
Flavors co-chairperson Paul Kessock is also bringing out all the stops this year on the drink side of things. Kessock, a representative for West Indies Ltd., will be accompanied by several wine makers this year, who will also be offering some special rates on the vintages they’re presenting.
While enjoying the amazing food and wine November 13, Flavors-goers should remember the importance of the night, Steinborn added.
“I’ve heard that people don’t really know why we’re doing this,” she said. “This event is so important and through it we make a difference in these students’ lives.”
Steinborn shared a letter from recent graduate of Southern Connecticut State University and Rotary scholarship winner Kershen Bissette, which illustrated the impact of Flavors’ fundraiser.
“I do express my full gratitude towards you and the Rotary Club for you all played, and are continuing to play, a huge role in my life,” Bissette recently wrote to Rotary member William Willegerod and the group. “The Rotary Club has brought me a step closer with achieving my academic goals. Please salute everyone at the Rotary Club on my behalf.”
Bissette also plans to attend graduate school at Southern Connecticut State University and begin work towards him MBA.
“Kershen is a perfect example of where our dollars go and how worthy a cause Flavors has been to youths that would otherwise not be able to attend college,” said Steinborn.