Annual Taste of Eden Prairie set for Feb. 23

FEPS_LOGO_FINAL_Horiz_1aAn online auction was the preface last week to the 11th annual Taste of Eden Prairie, set for 6-10 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 23, at the Minnesota Vikings Winter Park facility, 9520 Viking Drive, Eden Prairie.
In addition to sampling of foods donated and served by 26 local restaurants, the event will include music for listening and dancing, provided by The Mark Miller Band. Also scheduled are a raffle, a silent auction, a live auction and tours of the Vikings locker rooms and training facility.
The online auction, which began Feb. 11, will continue through Feb. 25.
“The restaurants are so enthusiastic; they donate all the food and staff time,” said Mary Lenker, executive director of the Foundation for Eden Prairie Schools (FEPS) sponsoring the fundraiser.
The event’s Rock ‘n Prairie theme is new this year, Lenker said. The choice of the Mark Miller Band is significant because the group is composed of Eden Prairie residents, she said.
Participating restaurants in this year’s event include Backstreet Kitchen, Bakers Square, Bayside Grill, Berry Blendz, Biaggi’s, Buca di Beppo, Chanticlear Pizza, Cold Stone Creamery, Davanni’s Pizza & Hot Hoagies, Dickey’s Barbeque Pit, Dunn Bros Smith Douglas More House, Eden Prairie Schools Catering, Famous Dave’s BBQ, Jake’s City Grille, Jerry’s Foods, Kona Grill, Kowalski’s Market, Noodles & Company, Panino Brothers, Pinstripes Edina, Qdoba Mexican Grill, Red Moon Chinese Café, Santorini, Tea Source Wildfire and Zorba’s of Eden Prairie.
The Taste of Eden Prairie is the signature fundraising event for FEPS. It is organized by a core group of 17 people headed by three co-chairs, as well as 200 volunteers, Lenker said.
Last year’s event drew 800 people and raised $57,000. Proceeds from Taste of Eden Prairie are used to fund teaching grants given to teachers and staff for programs in Eden Prairie Schools.
“It’s such a cool community event,” Lenker said. “People are so busy and they have a lot of choices. We’re grateful that they choose to come to the Taste of Eden Prairie.”
Since its inception, FEPS has provided more than $388,000 to Eden Prairie schools, teachers and students.
A 19-member volunteer board of directors composed of community members, including parents, community resident and school district employees, governs FEPS, a non-profit organization started in 1998. FEPS, which was known as Friends and Alumni of Eden Prairie Schools prior to 2005, operates separately from Eden Prairie Public Schools.
Tickets for Taste of Eden Prairie are $35 in advance or $40 at the door. Tickets are available online, at Eden Prairie Schools, through committee members and at Kowalski’s and Jerry’s.
Fifty VIP tickets for $75, only available online or through a Taste committee member, will guarantee ticketholders a premium parking space, private Viking locker room tour, “backstage” pass, reserved seating at the Taste event, and a complimentary swag bag filled with surprises.
For tickets or more information: foundationforepschools.org/taste

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