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'Taste of Kiwanis' Hopes to Raise Thousands for Charities

The tasting event takes place this Saturday.

One of the Kiwanis Club of Arlington's largest fundraisers for local charities and scholarships for students is back this year in a new format.

In previous years, the Kiwanis Club organized an Oyster Feast and Barbecue each October that involved shucking oysters on the spot.

“The work involved was very labor intensive," said Carolyn Carlson, who has been affiliated with the club for 15 years and proposed the concept for the newly dubbed “Taste of Kiwanis.”

Taste of Kiwanis will allow participants to sample food from eight Arlington-area restaurants: the Hilton Arlington in Ballston, El Ranchero Bar & Grill, Kabob House, Extra Virgin in Shirlington, Chick-fil-A in Ballston, Noodles & Company in Ballston, Shoreline Seafood, and Pupatella.

There will also be a cash bar with wine, sangria and beer. Food available for sampling includes pizza, chocolate ravioli and sliders. Tickets are $25 if purchased online before the event or $30 at the door.

Carlson said about 400 people are expected to attend the event, which she hopes will attract a more diverse crowd.

“I’m trying to get Kiwanis into more social media. Their audience is really 50 to 70 years old, and if they start to court younger people, that’s the audience they need to tap into,” Carlson said.

The event raises thousands for local charities and organizers people of all ages to come out.

“It’s a great way to support a major Arlington nonprofit with a revamped format,” Carlson said. “It helps local restaurants and nonprofits… It’s a win-win for everybody.”

If you go: 5 to 8 p.m. on Saturday at the National Rural Electric Cooperative Ballroom at 4301 Wilson Blvd. Tickets are $30 at the door or $25 if purchased online at www.tasteofkiwanis.com.

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