Food, fun return for Symphony Flavors fundraiser

Get your taste buds ready for a new helping of Flavors, the Springfield Symphony Orchestra’s annual fundraiser that satisfies hunger and aids musical dreams.

Even more local restaurants and caterers will offer some of their best-loved delicacies all under one roof at Flavors, from 6 to 9 p.m., Saturday at the Hollenbeck Bayley Creative Arts and Conference Center.

Tickets are still available. All proceeds go toward the Symphony’s youth education programs including the Springfield Symphony Youth Orchestras.

While the event was canceled in 2020 and a scaled-back version occurred in 2021, Flavors organizers Axl Pons and Marcia Flax are glad to bring it back bigger and better than ever, starting with 14 participating restaurants and caterers, up from nine a year ago

“It was a hard year (in 2021),” Flax said. “There were a lot of staffing challenges due to COVID and we wanted to update things this year with more restaurants and include a wider variety.”

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Participants will include a mix of new and returning, most local and a few chains. They include Speakeasy Ramen, All Seasons Catering, The Hickory Inn, It’s Your Party Bakery, Los Mariachis, Rudy’s Smokehouse, Stella Bleu Bistro, Mela Urban Bistro, Red Lobster, Jimmy John’s, Cecil and Lime Café, Coppertop Restaurant, Kohler Catering and Parkhurst Dining. The food will be complemented by a cash bar.

While the food is a highlight, it’s just the start. Flavors is also known for its silent auction items, and there has also been an increase in the variety of items.

“We’ve really outdone ourselves,” Pons said. “People have been very generous in donating items.”

Highlights include a guitar, a 2,000-piece puzzle of an orchestra from a Yellow Springs toy store, a Louis Vuitton bag, a diamond watch, jewelry, art, pottery, sports items, gardening items, wine, gift baskets and gift cards.

There is also the return of balloons containing gift cards of various values that can be purchased.

According to Flax and Pons, the event sponsors Drs. Karen and Bruce Shylo didn’t know much about the youth programs prior to attending Flavors, which inspired them to be this year’s event sponsors.

“Given this is an event to raise money for the youth programs, we definitely want the youths to be involved,” said Flax, a youth symphony alum. “The kids will come play and help.”

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Several of the talented youths will perform throughout Flavors, with some performing duets with their adult professional musician mentors they take lessons from. They are doing a week of music camp to prepare music and will play pop tunes for the crowd to enjoy from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.

“We like to say to come for the food and stay for the music,” Pons said.

There will also be a chance to sponsor a youth musician for the season. Information will be available on how to do this.

Advance tickets cost $45 each and are available through Friday at the Symphony office. Tickets will also be available at the door on Saturday for $50 each. To purchase tickets, call 937-325-8100.

HOW TO GO

What: Flavors, Springfield Symphony Orchestra fundraiser

Where: Hollenbeck Bayley Creative Arts and Community Center, 275 S. Limestone St., Springfield

When: 6-9 p.m. Saturday, July 30

Admission: $45 each advance; $50 at door

More info: www.springfieldsym.org

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