Meet Shannon Sabatini, the Fundraising Coordinator at Muscular Dystrophy Association and the creative genius behind Taste of the Town. “Taste of the Town? That sounds exciting! What is that?!” is what you may be asking yourself right now. Shannon filled us in on some behind-the-scenes tidbits from the successful event.
1. For those that may not know, what is Taste of the Town?
Taste of the Town is a food, beer and wine festival held at the Scottsdale Quarter to raise money for the Muscular Dystrophy Association. Attendees have the opportunity to sample fine cuisine from all over the Valley, as well as beer and wine from local stores and wineries. At the event, we have live music, this year it was provided by Elvis Before Noon! We also have a photo booth, silent auction and Wine and Jewelry raffle. All proceeds from the event go right back into helping local families who suffer from muscle disease.
2. How long has this event been running?
The event had been running for 14 years!
3. Which vendors participated this year?
Tanzy, Nothing Bundt Cake, Angels Envy Bourbon, The Capital Grille, Alliance Beverage (Baileys and Wine), TK’s Urban Tavern, True Food Kitchen, Press Coffee Roasters, Fogo De Chao, Hensley Beverage Company, Brio Tuscan Grille, Lucille’s BBQ, Grimaldi’s Pizzeria, Trader Joes, Barefoot Bubbly & Refresh, OHSO Eatery & Distillery, Sushi Brokers, Sol Mexican Cocina, Stingray Sushi and Bennett Lane Winery
4. How much did you raise to benefit the MDA?
We raised over $52,000 this year.
5. How did you get into this line of work?
I only started with MDA 3 short months ago! I stumbled into the non-profit world and am incredibly blessed to have had the opportunity. I moved from Boston to Arizona in 2012 to open an office for an IT Consulting Firm. After being with them for 3 years I decided I would follow my passion in event planning. I started working part time for MB Events doing weddings and smaller events. Little did I know, I could plan events AND help raise money for an amazing cause. I was introduced to MDA and fell in love with the job in my first interview.
6. What’s the best part of this job?
The BEST part of this job is getting to meet the children and families that our hard work helps every day. Some weeks are long, 6 day work weeks with 14 hour work days, and sometimes it’s exhausting. However, the second you get to meet these kids and hang out with them, you realize that every minute you put into this job is worth it.
7. What’s your favorite taste?
I am a true Italian – anything homemade with sauce and cheese makes me happy. If I had to pick one item it would be Chicken Parmesan!