Capitalizing on Transylvania County’s vibrant food and beverage scene instead of letting Covid-19 restrictions steal the show for another year, the Transylvania County Schools Educational Foundation is pleased to announce that the May 4-9 pivot version of the  2021 Taste of Transylvania fundraiser event, netted more than $12,000.

“It’s a bit nerve-wracking to play with the proven fundraising formula of an established event, such as the Taste, which our community has supported for more than a decade,” said TCSEF’s Executive Director Geraldine Dinkins on Wednesday as the final figures for the event had been tallied. “But the pandemic forced our hand and our board decided  to take the customary real-time silent auction online and turn the one-evening, catered in-person taste judging event into an all-comers showcase of our many great eateries, bars, breweries and other establishments. We took the risk – and thanks to some hard work in a compressed 5-week timeframe – we pulled it off with a handsome payoff.”

A dozen eateries, breweries and other beverage outlets sponsored the Taste event, donating either a percentage of sales or collecting tips, in real-time tip jars and virtual text-to-donate, at the cash register in the 6-day event. The Cedar Mountain Cafe won with a collection of more than $500 in cash and text-to-donate tips and Oskar Blues’ contributed the highest amount of food percentage sold with a $800 contribution. More than 100 bidders placed almost 120 bids on more than 75 auction items, ranging from hand-turned wood artifacts to weekend getaways. In all,  $6813 was raised by Sunday evening, May 9, when the auction closed to online bidders. A number of the auction items were on display in the windows of three local real estate agencies, Beverly-Hanks & Associates, Looking Glass Realty and Sandra Purcell & Associates Realtors. Throughout the six days that the auction was live. The farthest bid came from Alabama for a cream and sugar set, the highest bid was placed by a Brevard resident who paid $600 for a legal services package.

First Citizen Bank underwrote the purchase of the online GiveSmart auction platform. Vannoy Construction Company contributed $1200 and Allen’s Environmental Construction gave $600 toward the Tast proceeds. Several private donors wrote checks in amounts, ranging from $200 to $250.

“We are so grateful to a community that supports public education, who bid in our silent auction, the owners of all the food and drink establishments that contributed this year, the TCSEF board members, who worked hard, the many donors of silent auction items, from local merchants to artisans, and especially the teachers and students, who took ownership in the event and helped us with everything from auction items to eating out during the event’s week,” said Shannon Allison, TCSEF’s Board Chair. “We are excited to bring back the in-person component of Taste in 2022 to complement the successes of this year’s event.”

The 2022 Taste of Transylvania is tentatively scheduled for May 3 at the Sykes Family Farm.

Proceeds from the Taste event go toward TCSEF’s mission to enrich the educational opportunities for Transylvania County Schools students. TCSEF promotes, develops and encourages public and private support of TCS with a variety of programs, fundraising events, scholarships and grants.

In Auction proceeds with 100+ bidder and 75+ items

Proceeds from 14 eateries and beverage vendors in the week-long event

Special thanks to First Citizens Bank, Vannoy Construction, Allen Environmental Engineering, Dr. Robert Hayward, Sandra Purcell, Frances Bradburn, the Dryselius Living Trust and our many wonderful artisans and businesses, who contributed to our silent auction. TCSEF appreciates you.

As a craft beer shop, Wolfbrew is glad that the vibrant beer scene in our region will be a part of this year’s programming.”

Keavy McAbee

Owner + Operator, Wolfbrew Bottle Shop

“We are excited to bring back the in-person component of Taste in 2022 to complement the successes of this year’s event.”

Shannon Allison

TCSEF Board Chair