CALEXICO â€“ With over 20 restaurants participating, the fabulous food tasting event, â€œEvening Under the Stars,â€ Â gave Valley restaurants the opportunity to showcase their amazing mouth-watering dishes at the second annual “Taste of the Valley” fundraiser at San Diego State University on Friday
â€œMy mom, Paloma Pearson, is responsible for this great event,” said Pearson’s daughter, also named Paloma Pearson. “My mom wanted to somehow help raise money for the SDSU students and came up with this great idea. She has worked very hard on this project and has done most of the work herself,” said the daughter.
â€œThe purpose of the event is to fundraise money for scholarships for SDSU students. With tickets sold at $40 each and donations, we estimate a total of $30,000 raised for this year,â€ explained Pearson.
The couple’s daughter traveled all the way from Austin, Texas, to support her parents in the event. â€œI feel really excited. Itâ€™s interesting to see my parents so involved with the community and being able to put faces with names. Itâ€™s amazing to witness this,â€ she said.
Guests enjoyed food, desserts, wine and, of course, Starbucks Coffee. â€œI am excited and proud to be a part of the event and to be a part of the community. It is awesome,â€ said Tana Limon, a Starbucks employee.
Tea candles and dim lighting set the casual, yet elegant, atmosphere. Guests also enjoyed entertainment from a flamenco singer, dancers and guitar players as well as raffles and prizes. â€œThis is our biggest fundraiser for the year,â€ stated David Pearson, Dean of San Diego State University, Imperial Valley.
â€œIt is fantastic to be able to bring people from the Valley together,” said Dean Pearson. “We serve the entire Valley including Brawley, Calipatria and Holtville. It is a great outreach to showcase the Valley and its businesses. Paloma, my wife, is tremendously energetic and devoted to the university. She volunteers from the heart. She is the one who has brought all of our sponsors, she is our driving force and well, the rest of us are only the hired help,â€ he said with a big smile.
â€œThis is my second year attending, I have three kids in college and know how important scholarships are. It is nice to get the community together for a good cause,â€ said Alicia Rahiotis, Calexico resident.
â€œPeople have the opportunity to taste our food and recommend us, as they say word of mouth is the best advertisement,â€ said Fernando Galeana, owner of Dâ€™Polly Cocina Mexicana.[envira-gallery id=”54972”]