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Taste of Ballston Spa is a palate-pleaser and a major fundraiser for school foundation

More than 14 restaurants will be participating in this year’s event, including 50 South, Ripe Tomato, Sunset Cafe, LaBella’s, Front Street Deli, Augie’s, Crystal Rock, Bear’s Cafe, Village Sweet Shoppe and Pellegrino Imports.

More than 14 restaurants will be participating in this year’s event, including 50 South, Ripe Tomato, Sunset Cafe, LaBella’s, Front Street Deli, Augie’s, Crystal Rock, Bear’s Cafe, Village Sweet Shoppe and Pellegrino Imports.

When school budgets aren’t enough, the key to filling the gap is apparently through the stomach. Specialty foods and drinks seem to be all the rage as a way of raising money these days, and tasting events are high on the list of avenues to do that. It was about 10 years ago when members of the Ballston Spa Education Foundation (BSEF) realized the popularity of such gatherings and put together “A Taste of Ballston Spa.”

IF YOU GO

• What: Taste of Ballston Spa

• When: March 24, from 6-8 p.m.

• Where: HVCC TEC SMART Campus, 35 Hermes Road, Malta

• How much: $30 per person, $50 per couple

• Info: www.ballstonspaed...

“The idea is to give a taste of each of the different restaurants,” said Ellen Mottola, BSEF secretary.

With the growing number of food establishments in the Village of Ballston Spa and nearby Malta, those looking for a good bite need not look far. The hardest part however is deciding which to try first, Mottola said.

BSEF has that covered with a wide range of samples from area restaurants all in one place.

“Each place has one or two entrees,” Mottola said. “They also bring menus.”

The event, which began as a small gathering in the town’s high school has now become an eagerly awaited event each year, and in recent years, has taken place at Malta’s TEC-SMART campus, the facility that houses the Clean Technologies and Sustainable Industries Early College High School.

“The original taste was held in the high school. Then we found that as nice as it was, you were sitting on cafeteria chairs,” Mottola said. “So we moved it off the high school site and have been holding it the last three years at TEC-SMART.”

With the move off of school grounds, the foundation was also able to add alcohol to the event, helping to create more of an “evening out” atmosphere rather than a school fundraiser.

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