On Friday, March 3, 2023, Carmel Education Foundation (CEF) hosted 1,300 guests at  Taste of Carmel, showcasing a Roaring 20’s theme and featuring more than 40 local food and beverage vendors, along with a robust silent auction and an impressive raffle consisting of a pair of diamond earrings, two electric bikes, and a Big Green Egg Minimax Tailgate package. 

To kick the night off, State Bank hosted the First Taste VIP Party for over 200 guests who enjoyed chef demonstrations from 1933 Lounge and a variety of cocktails from Hard Truth Distilling Co., Quaff On! Brewing Company, Loren’s AF Beverages, and Jackson Family wines. 

Entertaining guests throughout the evening were Jon Mobley, Master Magician and vocalist Kelley Milligan Nichols and keyboardist Joe Hart, along with cocktail demonstrations from Brett Butler from Alcomy, LLC and Will Bernard from Wine in 3 Catering. Emcee Jeff Worrell returned for his 10th year and engaged the crowd throughout the evening.

New this year was the Last Taste After Party, presented by 185 Promotions and Apparel.  Guests danced to tunes spun by DJ Fred Lockstar, enjoyed beverages from light up tumblers, and had a great time with friends and colleagues. 

Jennifer Penix, CEF Executive Director, thanks all of the sponsors who contributed to the event with financial and in-kind partnerships.  Along with State Bank, Premier sponsors include Citizen’s State Bank who bedazzled the ballroom with feathers and sparkle, CoasterStone who created a custom give-away, Ed Martin Automotive who served as the AV sponsor, the City of Carmel, O’Malia’s Living, and Fanning Howey.  Springhetti Dentistry returned for the second year as the silent auction sponsor.

More than $100,000 was raised to support Carmel Education Foundation’s mission of supporting Carmel Clay students in academic achievement and lifelong learning.  Dallas Shelby, CEF President, attributes the success of this event to a dedicated group of volunteers who worked tirelessly in the planning along with the enthusiastic support of the CEF board of directors.

Shelby stated, “This achievement is proof positive of what can happen when the community comes together. The money raised is an investment in the future of Carmel. It will allow us to continue to fund student and teacher grants, to increase our scholarship awards and strengthen our collaborations with organizations like Junior Achievement and the Carmel Youth Assistance Program.”

Additionally, growing investments is a top priority of the board of directors, along with promoting the value and necessity of public education and creating a stronger presence in the Carmel and Hamilton county communities.

A special thank you to all of our additional sponsors which include: The Current, Good Day Carmel, Pedego Carmel, Diamonds Direct, Carmel Monthly, Summers Plumbing, Heating & Cooling, COhatch, Republic Airways & Lift Academy, Church Church Hittle & Antrim, Dentistry on 116, CSO, Party Time Rental, Bose McKinney, Kroger, Gardis & Regas, Needler’s, Qtego, The Skillman Corporation, Clay Terrace, Flanner Buchanan, MetroNet, National Bank of Indianapolis, Von Lehman CPA’s, Jolene Broad Photography, Class 101, College Tutors of Indiana, Oberer’s Flowers, The Imperial Spa, Indy Facets, Jon Mobley Master Magician, Pyatt Builders and Finecraft Builders, Barnes & Thornburg, PIP Printing, and Town Planner.

Visit www.TasteOfCarmelIndiana.com to view event photos and to view all vendors and silent auction donors.  The 2024 event date will be announced later this spring.  If you are interested in being involved in sponsoring or planning Taste of Carmel 2024, or with Carmel Education Foundation in any capacity, contact Jennifer Penix at jpenix1@ccs.k12.in.us.