By Mary O’KEEFE and Michael YEGHIAYAN
ids-n-Kritters, Wags-N-Whiskers and the Prom Plus Taste of Montrose were held during Sunday’s Harvest Market in Montrose on May 4. The Wags event benefited the “kritters” at Glendale Humane Society and ToM was a fundraiser for Prom Plus, an after prom party for Crescenta Valley High School seniors and their guests.
“Sunday was an absolutely perfect event day – gorgeous weather, wonderful community attendance and everyone enjoying another fun day in Montrose,” said Linda McMenamin, Montrose Shopping Park events coordinator/marketplace manager. “Glendale Humane Society’s 10th Annual Wags-N-Whiskers walk had more than 100 two- and four-legged walkers in attendance, many were alums of the shelter. Vendors offered lots of free samples of pet-themed products and rescues got to show off their furry friends. We’re looking forward to inviting the community to celebrate our 90th anniversary in June.”
Those who made a $20 investment in a Taste of Montrose ticket were treated to the culinary delights of 21 restaurants that either opened their doors along Honolulu Avenue or Ocean View Boulevard or took part in the ToM food court. ToM took place from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
“We were thrilled with the number of people who participated in the Taste of Montrose,” said Robin Goldsworthy, Prom Plus president. “The restaurants offered tempting food that pleased everyone’s palate. As a fundraiser, this was one of our most successful.”
McMenamin added that many of the MSP merchants she spoke with had “great days” in their stores and restaurants and enjoyed the events as well.
Earlier in the week, the streets of downtown Glendale were full of curious diners taking part in the 12th annual Taste of Glendale. Spanning three blocks of Brand Boulevard, restaurants across the downtown area offered samplings of various menu items meant to highlight the culinary diversity of the city.
Proceeds from Taste of Glendale benefitted the nonprofit organization Glendale Healthy Kids, which provides healthcare for local children who have no insurance or are underinsured.
“Tasters” were able to explore the growing list of restaurants available across the heart of the city while contributing to a cause that has assisted the healthcare needs of underprivileged children in Glendale and La Crescenta for over two decades.
“We were so pleased with the community’s support of the event, which drew record numbers this year. Over 600 people enjoyed a plethora of food from over 40 vendors,” said Glendale Healthy Kids CEO Sharon Townsend. “Ninety-six percent of our proceeds will go directly to our programs and client services.”
In addition to the considerable menu of cuisine available, several performances of live music were available at various locations in the city. Musician Dan Beers, the Crescenta Valley High School Jazz Band, and the Glendale Community College Jazz Band all provided entertainment for the evening.
Tickets for the event, $25 for adults, $10 for kids, were sold through Glendale Arts’ GA Tickets program, which makes the ticketing system used for the Alex Theatre available to various local nonprofits and performing arts groups in the area. Glendale Arts partnered with Glendale Healthy Kids and Prom Plus for both events. In addition to disbursing tickets, GA offered the forecourt of the Alex Theatre available for Taste of Glendale for restaurants that were not located directly in the city’s downtown corridor.
Glendale Arts CEO Elissa Glickman described the program as an example of the area’s commitment to “nonprofits helping nonprofits.”
“It is always good for members of the community to see how vibrant things have gotten in the area,” said Glickman. “We can get lost in the neighborhood and forget about all of the amazing restaurants that are around.”
Tim Gallagher of the Downtown Glendale Association, which helped sponsor the event, praised Glendale Healthy Kids and was glad to see a large number of people experience the revitalization of the city.
“Glendale Healthy Kids is an incredible organization and people need to realize how lucky Glendale is to have it,” said Gallagher. “Healthcare is one of the first things that suffers when you are trying to make rent and afford food and they really help bridge the gap for those kids and we are really happy to help out for them.”
“[Taste of Glendale] was great because people who don’t come downtown or just pass by it on their way somewhere else had a chance to stop and see with their eyes what is happening in the district and how it is transforming,” he continued.