A taste for the team: Football fundraiser set for March 4

By: Kristyne E. Demske | St. Clair Shores Sentinel | Published February 19, 2018

 Marge Prezzato and Cathy Mazey, owner of The Polish Kitchen in St. Clair Shores, won the Mayor’s Choice award at the 2017 Shorian Taste Fest. This year’s event is scheduled for March 4.

Marge Prezzato and Cathy Mazey, owner of The Polish Kitchen in St. Clair Shores, won the Mayor’s Choice award at the 2017 Shorian Taste Fest. This year’s event is scheduled for March 4.

File photo by Donna Agusti

ST. CLAIR SHORES — In a new venue, the annual Shorian Taste Fest is gearing up for a great time to support football players at Lake Shore High School.

For nine years, the Shorian Taste Fest, put on by the Lake Shore Quarterback Club, has brought in extra funds for the 120 football players at the school. 

“It kind of started when the budget cuts started being handed down. They did pay-to-play for a year,” and even basic equipment purchases were put on hold, said Rich Popp, football coach and dean of students at Lake Shore High School. 

Since then, the money raised has been used to purchase new safety equipment, and pay for team dinners and other items for the team.

“Every single dime they get goes to bolster the kids’ experience,” Popp said of the money raised. Taste Fest raised $21,000 in 2017. 

This year, Shorian Taste Fest has been moved to Athena Banquet Center, 25650 Gratiot Ave. in Roseville. It’s set for 1-5 p.m. March 4. Tickets cost $15 in advance, available at Lake Shore High School, 22980 13 Mile Road in St Clair Shores, or $20 at the door.

Between 1,500 and 2,000 people came to Shorian Taste Fest in 2017, Popp said. Those attending get samples from 30 to 40 different restaurants serving up food from burgers and pizza to high-end cakes, desserts and pastries.

“It’s an incredible community experience,” Popp said. “People come from as far as Utica, Sterling Heights, throughout St. Clair Shores, of course. Lots of smiles, laughs and sharing.”

In addition to great samples, contributors can compete for awards. New this year, Lake Shore graduate Michael Agnello is sponsoring an award, the Golden Spoon. He is donating a piece of jewelry for the award and will also be a judge at this year’s Taste Fest, according to Craig Manning, past president of the Quarterback Club.

Taste Fest supports dinners and other events for the football teams, as well as supplies like the giant water tank, cool misters and tackling dummies. This year, Popp said, he’s hoping to purchase an end zone camera. 

“That gets us a different view, which is extremely beneficial to the coaches and our teaching of the game to the kids,” Popp said. 

The players lend a hand for the event as well, setting up, taking down, and always being on hand to bus tables and get drinks. 

Varsity football captain Trevor Scott, a senior, said that he appreciates all the work the Quarterback Club does for the team. 

“They basically get everything for us,” he said. “They’re pretty great.”

Scott said he enjoys volunteering during the Shorian Taste Fest as well. 

“A lot of people come,” he said. 

He’s played football for six years, four of which were at Lake Shore. 

“The team had pretty good chemistry,” he said of the fall 2017 season. “The students were more into it.

“The bond everyone has, everyone’s pretty close. It’s a good group of seniors.” 

In addition to the food, there will be a student band playing and a DJ, as well as raffles.

“It is such a family event; it’s awesome,” Popp said. 

Call Staff Writer Kristyne E. Demske at (586) 498-1041.