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Taste of Ontario Prepares for 8th Annual Event

For the eighth straight year, Ontario is gearing up to honor and thank the more than 300 citizens who volunteer their time to a wide range of worthwhile organizations and activities.

"Anyone who has attended the Chamber's annual awards banquet held each January knows how good you feel about living in Ontario after hearing from people who give so much of their time to children, the elderly, the poor or those new to our community," Katherine M. Collins, Ontario School District director of public information and community involvement, said. "You feel honored to be in the presence of so many giving volunteers."

The Taste of Ontario Volunteer Appreciation Event is hosted by Ontario Public Schools with the help of Emmy Bellows of Party Connections, Ontario, assisting with tablecloths, cups, plates and utensils and Ontario School District webmaster, Jeanne Patton doing the decorating.

According Collins, coordinator for the event, the theme for this year's celebration is "Volunteers: A Gift to the Community," and will feature a patriotic theme with Ontario's volunteer firefighters to receive a special recognition. A few of the other service organizations to be honored at the event include, Holy Rosary's Auxiliary, Boy and Girl Scout leaders, the Treasure Valley Civitans and the Ontario Recreation Department.

"These people donate hours and hours of their time to make this a better place and don't ask for anything in return," Collins said.

Musical entertainment will be provided by Ontario High School music teacher, Skip Bicknese and a small combination of his students. A Southern Gospel quartet, "The Joint Heirs," will close the celebration with a medley of patriotic music, Collins said. Taste of Ontario will also feature local restaurants serving up, buffet style, an array of sample-size portions to feed the honored volunteers and guests.

The festivities begin at 4 p.m. April 23 in the OHS Commons.

Organizations with volunteers to thank, businesses interested in becoming involved by making a cash donation or restaurants wishing to participate, may do so by contacting Collins, (541) 889-5374, or kcollins@ontario.k12.or.us.

By Kim Nowacki Argus Observer