Thank you to everyone that made the Taste of Welland such a successful event!  Special thanks to the Black Sheep Lounge, Mr. Mikes Steakhouse Casual, Taris on the Water, Ye Olde Squire, Mama Misfits Cheesecakery and Cafe Mochaccino for the great food and atmosphere.  Thanks to all the media that helped to share this event (Country 89, Giant FM, Welland Tribune, the St. Catharines Standard, The Printing House).  Thanks to Dannel Transportation for providing transportation to the event and to the Seaway Mall for hosting the event.  Thank you to everyone who participated in this event.  We hope to see you all there next year!

Busloads of foodies hungering for samplings of what the best local restaurants have to offer travelled across the city Sunday during Taste of Welland.

Through the fundraiser organized by Community Support Services of Niagara, participants paid $50 to enjoy menu items at Mr. Mikes Steakhouse casual, Café Mochaccino, Ye Olde Squire, Taris, Mama Misfit’s Cheesecakery and The Black Sheep Lounge.

About 120 people were divided into groups and moved from one location to the next after tasting what each place had to offer.

“This is an amazing opportunity, I feel very special today,” said Fran Selinger.

Selinger volunteers for CSSN as a driver who takes senior citizens to appointments. She said the fundraiser is a great way to “get out and go places I wouldn’t normally go, and eat some foods I definitely wouldn’t make for myself.”

CSSN is a non-profit agency that offers programs and services to seniors and adults with disabilities to live independently in their homes.

Lukas Spinosa, owner of The Black Sheep Lounge, and a councillor for Ward 3, said CSSN is vital to the community.

“They provide funding for all sorts of programs — Meals on Wheels, home care for seniors, everything you can possibly imagine — and all the money goes back to people in our community.”

He said the fundraiser provided a unique opportunity for participants.

“It’s great value for the people that are coming and it’s great for the restaurants and we’re able to raise money.”

Spinosa said the goal was to sell 200 tickets. Although sales fell short of the target, the event is still being called a success.

“It’s a really good turnout. This is technically a first-year event for Welland, so to get 120 people out, and spend $50 a pop, for a first year is incredible.

“That is money going back to families that need it and seniors that need it and kids that need it. I think that is an incredible success.”

Paula Ferre said she joined the food tour in part because her parents use Meals on Wheels.

“I wanted to support a very worthwhile organization. I support it every time I can. It’s wonderful.”

Her friend, Jo-Anne Thibodeau, agreed.

“It’s a great cause and, hopefully, we’ll raise lots of money for it. I’m looking forward to just discovering new restaurants and meeting people.”