Taste of Hope celebrates students in recovery

Hope Academy, the recovery high school supported by Fairbanks, celebrated a record-breaking Taste of Hope event this year by raising over $67,000 or 64% more than the $41,500 goal to support students in recovery from substance abuse.

The annual fundraiser, held on Feb. 25 in the Fairbanks Recovery Center, was a sold-out event with more than 200 supporters and featured delicious cuisine donated by eight local food establishments:

Flamme Burger – Oak Catering was voted Best Taste for its beef tenderloin medallion with homemade béarnaise sauce and garlic mashed potatoes. Celebrity judge Terri Stacy of 93.1 WIBC also picked Flamme Burger – Oak Catering for Best Taste.

Sodexo repeated as Best Presentation winner for its turkey hot brown.

Desserts were donated by the Indianapolis Marriott Downtown, Celebrate Cookies and Piazza Produce, and gourmet coffees were donated by Cadillac Coffee.

The 2018 Taste of Hope had over 50 sponsors contribute more than $53,000 and over $5,000 in ticket sales to benefit Hope Academy. Another $9,000 came on the day of the event, including: over $4,000 from Bags of Hope sales (containing various donated items); $1,000 from a silent auction; over $600 from a quilt sale that had squares created by Hope Academy students; over $500 from student art work sold and overseen by art teacher Ms. Drascic, and; text-to-donate proceeds.

RTV6 News personality Rafael Sanchez once again emceed the event, which featured Hope Academy senior Dustyn Mitchell sharing his story of recovery. Hope Academy President and CEO Barbara Elliott presented the annual Faces of Hope Award to Sen. Luke Kenley, who was instrumental in the school receiving its charter from the mayor’s office.

Money raised through Taste of Hope helps offset the cost associated with educating each student at Hope Academy, which is a tuition-free public charter high school.