Moose Creek Tastefest draws hundreds, raises thousands for community’s pool

Ron Smith and Linda Kollesh enjoy themselves at Moose Creek Tastefest, Sept. 7. Zandbergen photo, Nation Valley News

MOOSE CREEK — Things went swimmingly at this community’s first-ever ‘Tastefest’ fundraiser for the Moose Creek pool on Saturday.

North Stormont Councillor Roxane Villeneuve, a key organizer, wouldn’t guess the total amount generated for the cause as the busy event went into its final hour but said the sum would be “very good.” She pointed out that — thanks to advance sponsorship support and donations — thousands had been raised even before the first guest entered the Moose Creek rink structure that afternoon.

Update, Sept. 16, 2019: The amount raised has exceeded $30,000. See video clip below.

Tastefest tally exceeds $30K

At the township council table Sept. 10, applause greets North Stormont Councillor Roxane Villeneuve’s announcement of over $25,000 raised at Tastefest 2019 – Moose Creek! — an event spearheaded by the councillor as fundraiser for maintenance on the public pool in that community. The tally has since risen to more than $30,000 after a $2,000 donation from the families of George, Rhonda, Bernie and Vivian Villeneuve, according to a more recent Facebook post by the councillor.

Posted by Nation Valley News on Monday, September 16, 2019

Members of the Tastefest 2019 committee and volunteers: (back, from left) Roxane Poirier-Bazinet, Mia Bazinet, Melanie Bazinet, Manon Tessier, Martin Bazinet and (front, from left) Tessa Lalonde, Tina Rolland and Emilie Bazinet. Zandbergen photo, Nation Valley News

“We went into this with net proceeds of over $11,000, and all of our expenses were paid,” Villeneuve happily reported, as the final band of the day, Fridge Full of Empties, played in the background.

In addition, guests bought tokens to taste the food or beverages offered by local establishments and producers — including local breweries, wineries and even a new cider outfit. Sales of tokens, when tallied, will drive up the amount raised, the councillor said, with 70 percent of those proceeds earmarked for the cause and the balance for the involved vendor.

“We have sold over 10,000 tokens,” she exclaimed.

Tastefest 2019 – Moose Creek! drew hundreds of people to the community’s covered rink structure where they enjoyed local beverage and food tasters. The amount has yet to be tallied, but thousands of dollars have been raised for maintenance on the Moose Creek pool. The clip below also shows one of the bands — Fridge Full Of Empties — including their impromptu performance of ‘O Canada’ after news of Bianca Andreescu’s championship win at the U.S. Open rippled through the crowd.

“It looks like everyone’s happy and the vendors all want to come back next year,” observed Villeneuve — who got the idea for Tastefest from a similar event she once organized for the Alexandria Hospital Foundation. “My sister, who happens to be on the pool committee, asked me if I would do one here…. Well, the event took off like fire.”

“From the moment we started advertising back in May, people purchased signs for the properties announcing the event,” she said, noting the committee landed some individual donations of $2,500 and more, including a $10,000 contribution from GFL Environmental, operator of the private waste site north of Moose Creek.

“I think it’s what Moose Creek and this community needed, really.”

Tina Rolland, another member of the organizing committee, marvelled at the number of tokens sold then recollected from vendors’ tables to be sold again as folks kept arriving through the afternoon. “It’s been very successful. We have 5,000 tokens and we’ve run out I don’t know how many times,” said Rolland as she minded the admissions table.

Patrons had their pick of treats and/or drinks from a slew of vendors. They included Max Forgues Photography + Videography, Lawrence’s Dairy Supplies, Dairy Distillery/Vodkow, Magnotta Winery, Orléans Brewing Co., Fraktals Belgian Chocolate, A Touch of Health/A Taste of Health, Tuque de Broue Brewery, Cassel Brewery, Labatt’s, Swiss Farmer Bakery, Pelee Island Wines, Steam Whistle Brewery, Sticky Cow Southern BBQ, Étienne Brûlé Brewery, St-Albert Cheese, Beau’s Brewery, Upper Canada Cider Co., Casa-Dea Estates Winery, Molson/Coors, The Red Door Lounge and GFL Environmental.

They also availed themselves of Tastefest’s inhouse bar and jewellery sales as well as silent auctions featuring products of Via Rail Travel and Pommier Jewellers.

See a gallery of images from the event, below.
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