TASTE OF THE SOUTH 2018: Washington, D.C. Organization Gives Substantial Sums to Charities across the South

August 30th, 2018 | Posted in Uncategorized

 Taste of the South donates more than $345,000 to 14 charities focused on STEM education


  • WASHINGTON – Taste of the South, a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization, donated more than $345,000 in proceeds from its annual black-tie gala to 13 deserving charities across the South and one in Washington, D.C., making some of its biggest charitable contributions in a decade. All 14 charities that were selected for Taste of the South’s 36th year focus on STEM education.


“On behalf of the entire Taste of the South committee, I am delighted to announce this year’s donations,” said Carolyn Walser, 2018 Chairman of Taste of the South. “Thanks to the generous support of our donors and guests, we are able to contribute meaningfully to charities throughout the South.  I am certain that the impacts of these donations will continue to be felt for years to come.”

The 2018 Taste of the South featured charity, Georgia FIRST Robotics, will receive more than $250,000, the largest gift to a featured charity in 13 years. Georgia FIRST Robotics helps transform the future of students by teaching team-building and mutual respect, helping them master STEM knowledge, instilling self-confidence, and developing leadership skills that are essential to their success in the 21st century.


“As a non-profit operating in the world of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM), Georgia FIRST Robotics is reliant upon our corporate partners to help make our program a reality to the thousands of youth served in our state each year,” said Connie Haynes, Executive Director of Georgia FIRST Robotics.  “Being selected as Taste of the South’s featured charity for 2018 has given our organization an infusion of confidence and solid commitment to be able to deliver our program to the next generation of technology leaders our country is in such dire need of.  Taste of the South recognized the important job we have to do and made the decision to help us succeed.”


The 2018 D.C. charity, RESET, will receive more than $28,000.  RESET is a volunteer organization of STEM professionals that has reached more than 15,000 students in the D.C. metro region with the mission to motivate children to discover and explore the worlds of science and math, and encourage them to consider education and career choices in related fields.


“As we begin school year 2018-2019, the funding provided by Taste of the South will enable RESET to reach many more students with hands-on science and math activities and field trips led by professional Scientists, Technologists, Engineers, and Mathematicians (STEM),” said John Meagher, Executive Director of RESET.  “Thanks to the generosity of those who support Taste of the South, RESET will be able to lead more programs in schools serving economically-challenged neighborhoods, providing students the opportunity to develop relationships with STEM professionals as well as an awareness of new possibilities for their own futures.”


The additional 12 charities from our member states throughout the South all work to prepare students for the opportunities oftomorrow by equipping them with skills to succeed in the emerging workforce, and will receive the remaining proceeds.


Background on Taste of the South:

The Taste of the South organization was founded in 1982 by a group of southern transplants in the nation’s capital as a way to celebrate the spirit and cuisine of the South while supporting causes in the states they called home. The first official Taste of the South event was held in April 1983 and featured 12 states, with ticket proceeds going to charity. In 1984, Taste of the South grew to represent 13 states, and as popularity of the event skyrocket over the next two decades, so too did fundraising efforts. Taste of the South has supported more than 150 non-profit organizations in the South and Washington, D.C. over the past 36 years and donated more than $5 million to our deserving charities.


The 37th annual black-tie gala will be held on April 6, 2019 at the historic Washington Hilton. At the gala, each state is celebrated by featuring regional cuisine and specialty products donated from home-state vendors and organizations for the more than 2,000 guests expected to attend.


Taste of the South is proudly supported by the Association for Accessible Medicines, Honda, Southern Company, Aflac, CN, Koch Industries, Quicken Loans, Volkswagen Group of America, the Washington Examiner, and more than 200 additional organizations and individuals.


Taste of the South, a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization based in Washington, D.C., is in its 37th year of supporting charities in the thirteen southern states it represents.