Swigging beer samples and savouring bite-sized niblets of food will go a long way to helping improve literacy at a local elementary.
The 11th annual Tip 'N' Taste, presented by the three Langley Rotary Clubs, is set to happen next Friday, and included in the ticket price is much more than three free beverage and food samples.
Admission can also give guests a rewarding feeling that they've helped the future leaders of this community get a strong footing in reading and writing, said event chair David Truman.
This evening party, hosted at the Coast Hotel and Convention Centre, is a fundraiser that is expected to net about $20,000 - everything donated, so every cent is going back into the community, Truman explained.
While each of the three Langley clubs will divy up the proceeds and support their various projects specific to children's health and literacy, Truman announced that his club - the Rotary Club of Langley - has committed its portion from Tip 'N' Taste, plus more, to helping Gordon Greenwood Elementary.
They've committed $17,000, part earmarked to buying Kurzweil assistive learning sofware to aid children with special needs. It will help kids who have difficulty reading and writing, much to the delight of fellow Rotarian and school principal Peter Luongo.
The software Luongo is asking for provides the option of voicing words in a textbooks, for instance.
Providing just five copies of the high-tech program for the school will eat up $7,000 of the committed Rotary dollars, but it's worth it, Truman said.
"Literacy is such a basic skill, without that you have nothing," he said, sold on the cause.
"It unlocks the door for special needs children to be able to share and utilize the same material as their classmates," Luongo added, noting that if not for the Rotary, he would have to turn to the parent advisory council, which is already channeling all its efforts and resources to other technology projects and an adventure playground for his Walnut Grove school.
In addition to the specialized reading software, the Rotary Club of Langley has also promised a further $10,000 to building the school's guided-reading library.
Based not on grade, but on reading aptitude, these books develop and build literacy skills.
He said the program, which is being embraced by his teaching staff, uses a step-by-step system to focus not only on decoding the words for kids, but helping children comprehend what they're reading in the process.
Luongo said there is a stock of the books already available at the school, but the selection is small and it is strictly geared to primary students. There's nothing yet available for kids Grade 4 to 7.
Funds from the Rotary Tip 'N' Taste will change all that.
He approached his club in May for funding, and Truman said the timing was fortuitous, since the group had not yet decided on a specific project. With this commitment, the principal is hoping to have the software and new books in place for kids by September.
This is just one of the community-based projects that will benefit from the Tip 'N' Taste.
Tip 'N' Taste is being held Friday, July 6, from 6 to 9:30 p.m. Tickets for the event are still available at the reduced cost of $25 (down from $30 last year) at www.tipntaste.com.
"This time we won't be conflicting with a Stanley Cup playoff hockey game," Truman said, noting the date of the annual event was moved from June into July.
There will be live entertainment, door prizes, and guests can eat, drink, and socialize thanks to the participation of eight restaurants and 20 beverage suppliers catering the evening.
Tip 'N' Taste has raised about $100,000 since its inception more than a decade ago, about $10,000 of that raised last year.