WEST ORANGE, NJ — In order to raise funds for scholarships, charities and civic needs both locally and internationally, the West Orange Rotary Club will hold its largest annual fundraiser, “Taste of the World,” on Feb. 24 at Mayfair Farms, located at 481 Eagle Rock Avenue, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

The event brings together several of the premier area restaurants that offer a sampling menu of culinary appetizers, entrées and desserts. Beer, wine and spirits tastings will also be available.

“The Taste of the World is one of the best single evening food and beverage tastings,” said longtime Rotarian Michael Karu. “We expect 40 or so vendors with a broad range of foods and beverages. People to attend for two reasons: first, it’s a great event, and second, to support the philanthropic efforts of our Rotary Club…

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“In addition to great foods and drinks, the atmosphere is wonderful. There’s live music, door prizes throughout the evening and a photo booth—all at no additional cost.  We also have a silent auction that always has a few surprises.”

Each year, the West Orange Rotary Club provides college scholarships to graduating seniors who reside in West Orange; provide backpacks for needy elementary school children; provide dictionaries to every third grader in the West Orange and Orange school districts; and provides funds to other worthwhile charities in West Orange, such as Main Street Counseling, West Orange PAL, West Orange Arts Council and West Orange African American Historical Society, to name a few.  The organization also sponsors the Arts and Crafts Pavilion at Camp Merry Heart, a one-on-one overnight camp for special needs individuals. 

Internationally, the West Orange Rotary participates in several Rotary-based project—including the PolioPlus initiative started in 1985 to eradicate polio worldwide—and has partnered with the World Health Organization and receives extensive funding through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

“Rotary is the best kept secret in the world,” said Karu. “We are the oldest and largest service organization in the world with roughly 1.2 million members in 200 countries and territories. Furthermore, 100 percent of the net proceeds from this and other events further the Rotary motto of ‘Service above Self.’  Every person who joins Rotary or helps Rotary impacts someone’s life.”

In addition to food and beverage samplings, the event will include raffles, prizes and live entertainment.

The event is supported by many local businesses such as Regal Bank, Livingston, Levine, Jacobs & Company, LLC of Livingston; Christos K. Alevras from State Farm of West Orange; Arkitecture Plus of West Caldwell; O’Hara Electric of West Orange; and more.

To purchase tickets, visit www.WestOrangeNJRotary.org or call 973-725-0308.