A long-time tradition in Carmel is back on the calendar for 2022! The 19th Annual Taste of Carmel is returning, hosted by the Carmel Education Foundation to benefit the Carmel Clay Schools (CCS) community.

The Orchard Park Elementary (OPE) Parent Teacher Organization has hosted Taste of Carmel since 2002. With the closing of OPE, it was time for this event to find a new home. Jennifer Penix, Executive Director of the Carmel Education Foundation, is very familiar with the Taste of Carmel as she served as chair from 2012-2017.

“Bringing Taste of Carmel to the Foundation is a full-circle experience for me, and I am delighted to carry on the tradition set forth by Orchard Park parents and staff. It is an honor to have the Foundation entrusted with this event, and the opportunity this will provide us to serve our CCS students and teachers better is significant,” said Penix.

Taste of Carmel will be held in March 2022 and will incorporate many of the elements from past years, including plenty of local restaurants, breweries, and wineries showcasing their specialties. Penix says to expect some new additions, including representation from all 15 CCS schools. Proceeds from sponsorships, ticket sales, and auction items will enable CEF to provide teacher grants, community programming, and scholarships.  

The transition of Taste of Carmel from OPE to CEF is bittersweet for many. 

“Taste of Carmel allowed our school family to make strong connections with the community,” shared Rhonda Turner, Principal of Orchard Park Elementary. “With the closing of Orchard Park, we are thrilled to leave this legacy to the Carmel Education Foundation. We know that the funds raised will support all Carmel Clay Schools and, by doing so, will continue to have a positive impact for Orchard Park alumni.” 

Penix says that CEF will contribute a portion of proceeds to the Back-Sack program that benefits nearly 200 CCS students monthly across the district.

“Ever since the decision was made to close Orchard Park, I have struggled with what the future holds for Taste of Carmel,” commented Karla Walsworth, a long-time event volunteer and chairperson. “I cannot think of a better fit or, quite frankly, a better person to entrust its future to than Jennifer Penix of the Carmel Education Foundation. Jennifer worked tirelessly on Taste of Carmel for many years and elevated the event to be enjoyed by more than 1,000 guests each year.”

CEF seeks community members experienced with auctions, sponsor development, or event planning to get involved with the planning process. “We know there are many talented people in Carmel who have experience with large events, and we look forward to generating fresh ideas for Taste of Carmel, as well as for the Foundation,” said Penix.  

If you are interested in volunteering, complete this short survey: (https://avanan.url-protection.com/v1/url?o=https%3A//forms.gle/sjmyG1psMYbxqgGFA&g=NTU5YzQ0N2I3Mjc3ZWIwNA==&h=NzFmYjg5NDI1N2ExZjMzMTBkZTAyNzJiYTFlNjEzNDJhN2NhOTBhMDJmNjg3YzU2ZTRkZmQ0YTI4NjE3ZjRhNA==&p=YXAzOm9uZXpvbmVjb21tZXJjZTphdmFuYW46bzo2NzRiOTAxYjY1MjczZDE2N2I2NzE3ODI3MDgxMWQ3ODp2MQ==).

To learn more about sponsorship or vendor opportunities, contact Jennifer Penix at jpenix1@ccs.k12.in.us or 317-844-9961 x2680.  For more information about the Carmel Education Foundation, please visit www.ccs.k12.in.us/foundation.


Carmel Education Foundation

One of the oldest foundations of its kind, the Carmel Education Foundation was created to help Carmel Clay students achieve their full potential. Since 1966, the Foundation has awarded over $2,100,000 in college scholarships to Carmel High School seniors and over $850,000 in education grants to inspire lifelong learning for Carmel Clay students. The Carmel Education Foundation is governed by a volunteer board of directors who give their time and energy to accelerate the Foundation’s mission by funding grants, awarding more than 85 scholarships annually and expanding resources for Carmel Clay Schools.