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Eat for COCC 

Two events for foodies also support students

If you're feeling generous and looking for a chance to get gussied up, mark your calendars now for Bend's annual Taste of the Town, on Friday, March 1, and the Meal of the Year, on Saturday, March 2. These fundraisers for the Central Oregon Community College Foundation are two of the most anticipated foodie events of the year and a wonderful opportunity to taste a wide variety of flavors from area food purveyors.

Meal of the Year

The swanky Meal of the Year event will include both silent and live auctions benefiting the COCC Foundation scholarship program.

Included in the ticket price of $125, guests will partake of a four-course meal, skillfully created and presented by the able students of Cascade Culinary Institute. This year's outstanding menu will start with an amuse-bouche of shellacked pork belly with a white bean truffle puree followed by an applewood smoked Northwest halibut cheek with potato puree, a beet taglierini, braised pork shank with wheatberry stuffed onion brulee, and a chocolate pear duo for dessert. The vegetarian entree alternative is roasted portobello with ratatouille and polenta fritters.

Following dinner, black tie-clad participants will raise their paddles high to donate money for worthy scholarship recipients and bid on some fantastic live auction items.

Last year, supporters raised more than $200,000 for scholarships during these two evenings. Silent auction items include a package from Sunriver Resort for two nights lodging in a Lodge Village guest room, two rounds of golf and dinner for two at Meadows Restaurant, or a guided half-day singletrack mountain bike adventure for two from Cog Wild. Foodies will want to take a stab at two tickets to the "Follow the Fork" tour offered by The Well Traveled Fork worth $100.

Meal of the Year

5:30 p.m. Saturday, March 2

Mazama Gym

2600 NW College Way


Taste of the Town

One of Bend's best-kept secrets, the Taste of the Town gives you the opportunity to sample a vast array of some of the most mouthwatering food up for grabs by some of Bend's leading chefs and caterers.

Unlimited bites and a no-host bar are available for you to nibble the night away along with a silent auction and live music from Portland's Pressure Point, so remember to dust off your dancing shoes.

Local caterers, including Blue Bite catering, Tate and Tate, Cascade Catering Co. and The Well Traveled Fork, will be on hand, as will 10 Below, Deschutes Brewery and Local Slice Pizza. They'll all be serving up tastes along with dessert offerings from The Cake Lady, Ida's Cupcake Café and Bonta Gelato to satisfy your sweet tooth.

And that's just a small snapshot of the vendors and local restaurateurs that will be participating in this not-to-be-missed event.

It's not all about the food, though.

Taste of the Town and Meal of the Year raise money for the college's foundation, which helps to further educational and charitable activities, including scholarships for people trying to take their lives in a new direction.

So bring your checkbooks. The tickets are only $25, which is a small price to pay to help change the lives of deserving students looking for scholarships to COCC. The silent auction allows you to bid on over 90 auction items on display. Make a bid and cross your fingers to bag some great donations from various local companies here in Bend.

You could score some super cool outdoor adventures like a white-water rafting trip from Sun Country Tours, two rounds of golf at Widgi Creek or an hourlong horseback ride for two from Diane's Riding Place. There will also be loads of gift certificates to claim—over 25 restaurants have donated certificates ranging from $25 to $100.

Taste of the Town

6 p.m. Friday, March 1

Mazama Gym

2600 NW College Way


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