Newsmakers: Taste of the Holidays

Proceeds go toward international school projects


REDWOOD NEWS: Here’s Ian Shatz and Vanessa Griffin to chat about their club’s annual kick off after the holidays. Welcome, you guys. Hi. Thanks for being here. Vanessa entice us. Tell us about this evening of culinary delights that you call the Taste of the holidays.

VANESSA GRIFFIN: Well, it’s really exciting because we have a host of institutional vendors that have been participating for years, and we have very new businesses that are participating for the first time. So we’re going to have people showing off the best of the best of what they have to offer.

REDWOOD NEWS: Ian, tell us about the vendors being showcased this year.

IAN SHATZ: We have incredible food producers and it’s so fun to see them get in front of the public and meet the people that are actually consuming their food because some are wholesale and they don’t get to meet with the public. So when they get to actually interface with the people that enjoy their foods and get that feedback, it is so much fun to see that. And I know the vendors love it because they keep coming back year over year.

REDWOOD NEWS: This has become one of the premier social events in Arcata, but it’s more important to know that this event supports your Rotary Club’s, local and international humanitarian projects. Can you tell us about those?

IAN SHATZ Absolutely. That’s part of the excitement of this, is that it’s for a cause. So, you know, recently and over the years, we’ve supported many international school projects. Right now we’re helping a school in Cambodia completely build a kitchen, and we’re supplying equipment and things for that so that the students can have at school meals that wouldn’t otherwise have that available, much like we have here. You know, one of the biggest programs that our club does and many Rotary Clubs actually participate in, is supporting the Food for People Backpacks for Kids Program for kids that may not have access to any quality food over the weekends when they’re out of school.

REDWOOD NEWS: And Vanessa, there’s also a project in Rio Dell?

VANESSA GRIFFIN: Yeah, I want to say speaking of school, we are teaming up with all the local Rotary clubs to rebuild a playground that Rio Dell was raising money for before the earthquake. All of that funding that they were raising went to rebuilding the school. So now we are getting together to rebuild the playground.

REDWOOD NEWS: The taste of the holidays is next Thursday, the 16th. Where is it? When is it and how much is the admission?

VANESSA GRIFFIN: It is from 5 to 9 at the Arcata Community Center. You can buy tickets for $40 at

IAN SHATZ And we’ll have tickets at the door to. You know, if you’re not organized like me, getting your things planned ahead and you decide I want to go after, I’ll just come on over. We’ll be there to receive and welcome you in.

REDWOOD NEWS: Vanessa Griffin and Ian Shots from the Rotary Club of ARCATA SUNRISE. Thanks for joining us today.

ALL: Thanks for having us.