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Sangarita Challenge: All the ingredients for a tasty fundraiser – 32963 Features, People

A Sangria and Margarita drinking a flamingo, wearing a sombrero of course, flamboyantly celebrated an inaugural Sangarita Challenge at the Heritage Center which was hosted recently by the Exchange Club of Vero Beach.

Throughout the evening, six local restaurants – Armani’s Cucina, Blue Agave, Ciboulette, Cobalt, Polo Grill and Southern Social – competed for bragging rights over who could serve the best Sangria, Margarita and small appetizer.

Attendees enjoyed sipping and tasting to their heart’s content, embracing the difficult task of voting for their favorite spirits and finger foods, while browsing a wide range of silent auction items, with proceeds supporting the Scholarship Foundation. studies at the Vero Beach Exchange Club.

In the end, Blue Agave took home the title of best margarita for their Mango Habanero Margarita, made with homemade infused tequila. Ciboulette was told by the crowd that she had poured the best sangria, a white sangria with granny smith apples and grapes.

Cucina d’Armani won awards for best small plate, pear and gorgonzola fiocchi served in a creamy white sauce drizzled with truffle oil, and best set for their double offering of an Italian margarita made with amaretto and their homemade sangria.

The idea for the event was inspired by a sangria event hosted by an Exchange Club on the West Coast, said Dustin Haynes, president.

“To expand the audience, we added Margaritas, so there were options for everyone.”

The Vero Beach Club has served the community for over 60 years and is one of five exchange clubs in Indian River County. Each strives to make the community a better place to live through the pillars of the Exchange Club – child abuse prevention, community service, Americanism and youth.

In addition to local service projects, such as packing and distributing bags of hygiene products to homeless people, Haynes said, “We donate between $30,000 and $35,000 each year in scholarships to local students.” .

He explained that student scholarship applications are reviewed and awarded by the nonprofit’s scholarship committee and that several scholarships are awarded to technical school students.

As part of the National Exchange Club’s work to prevent child abuse, the non-profit organization distributes public awareness materials on child abuse prevention.

Haynes added that the Indian River County Youth Orientation will become a center for child abuse prevention. Through a parent support program, CAP centers serve as relays to train parent support workers, who then travel to homes where abuse has been reported or where families are at risk of abuse.

The program helps parents learn to cope with daily stress and create a positive environment in which to raise their children, all in the hope of breaking the cycle of violence.

Since its inception, more than 545,000 families and 1.3 million children have been helped by The Exchange Club’s network of child abuse prevention centers.

For its next fundraising opportunity, the Exchange Club of Vero Beach will once again partner with the Vero Beach High School Band to sell Christmas trees near the Cleveland Clinic Indian River Hospital.

Meetings are held from noon to 1 p.m. Tuesdays at First Baptist Church, at their Family Life Center on 15th Avenue.

For more information, visit NationalExchangeClub.org.

Pictures of Joshua Kodis

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