Taste of Chilton still looking for vendors, sponsors

Published 5:37 pm Wednesday, August 8, 2018

By J.R. Tidwell / Editor

Sponsorships and a few vendor spots are still available for the upcoming Taste of Chilton event on Sept. 17 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Senior Connection in Clanton.

The Taste of Chilton is a joint fundraiser by the Rotary Club of Chilton County and Senior Connection. Senior Connection is located at 304 Park Plaza.

“Senior Connection has a beautiful location here in downtown Clanton,” said Gordon Swenson, the president of the local chapter of Rotary Club. “When we had the initial idea for the event, we were looking for a place to hold the (Taste of Chilton.) We fell right in with Senior Connection. It’s a great marriage. We do the vendors, and they do the sponsors. We work together to put on the event. The Senior Connection people have been just super on helping the organization and providing the necessary bodies to make it happen.”

Attendees get a chance to sample food from local establishments. Anyone who attends also gets the opportunity to help judge the vendors’ food in one of three categories: best savory, best sweet and best overall. Tickets for the event will be $25 each.

Swenson said about 18 vendors have been secured for the event, but the organizers would like to have 25.

“There is no charge to be a vendor at Taste of Chilton,” he said. “You get an 8-foot table to put all your food on. It’s a great opportunity for local restaurants to show their wares. If staffing is an issue, it is possible some Senior Connection members may be able to help.”

Both the Rotary Club and Senior Connection use the money raised by the Taste of Chilton in various ways.

“As far as the Rotary Club is involved, the money is used for the community to help out in different aspects,” Swenson said. “We purchase dictionaries for all of the public education third-grade students in Chilton County. We had a grant that allowed us to do that for three or four years, so now the Rotary Club has the means to do that itself with funds raised by the Taste of Chilton. We are one of the few clubs in the state that does it by themselves.

“We have also purchased Chromebooks for a third-grade class at a local elementary school. We sent two kids to RYLA, the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards, last year. Last year we bought Christmas gifts for the teen foster children, and this year we are looking to expand that along with the parade. We gave money to Butterfly Bridge. In the past we have given to Raleigh’s Place. We will do that again this year. That’s where the money has gone. We are looking to widen what we do, and the Taste of Chilton has allowed us to do that.”

According to Senior Connection director Vanessa McKinney, sponsorships are also still available for the event. The funds raised by Senior Connection help provide activities for seniors here in Chilton County.

“So far, we are still raising money for a bus,” she said. “That will be a long fundraiser, but during the meantime we still have activities, we have bought appliances, fund and go on trips and different things like that.”

Anyone interested in participating in Taste of Chilton as a vendor or joining the Rotary Club of Chilton County may call Swenson at (205) 907-4219.

Those wishing to inquire about sponsorships for Taste of Chilton may call McKinney at (205) 755-8227.