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Taste of Buffalo presented by TOPS Awards Scholarships to Five Western New York High School Seniors

Tue, Jun 7th 2016 12:00 pm

Buffalo, NY - To support local area high school seniors in their pursuit of higher education in the foodservice and hospitality industries, the Taste of Buffalo presented by Tops has awarded five $1,000 scholarships to local high school seniors.

The winners include:

  • Noel Allesi from Orchard Park High School will attend Florida Gulf Coast University to pursue a dual major in business management and resort and hospitality management.
  • Ericka Holtz from Springville-Griffith Institute and W.D. Ormsby BOCES Vocational Center is attending the Niagara Falls Culinary Institute to pursue a degree in baking and pastry arts.
  • Brook Marafino from Cheektowaga Central High School and a culinary student at Harkness Technical Center is majoring in culinary arts at Erie Community College.
  • Carter Richards from Williamsville East High School will attend the Culinary Institute of America.
  • Zachariah Schmitz from Eden Jr./Sr. High School is attending the Culinary Institute of America.

"Congratulations to this year's scholarship recipients!" said Jen Mitri, 2016 Taste chair. "On behalf of the Taste's board of directors, we wish them the best of luck as they embark on the path toward successful careers in the foodservice and hospitality industries."

The scholarship fund, which began in 1997, has awarded more than $75,000 to deserving high school seniors. To be eligible for this scholarship, students must reside in one of the eight Western New York counties and be enrolling in a foodservice or hospitality curriculum at an accredited two- or four-year school this coming fall.

The Taste of Buffalo presented by Tops is the nation's largest two-day food festival, attracting more than 450,000 visitors each year. The 33rd annual Taste will take place on July 9 and 10, 2016 along Delaware Avenue and Niagara Square in downtown Buffalo. The Taste is a not-for-profit organization with more than 1,000 volunteers helping to put on the annual event. More than $315,000 has been raised at the festival for local charities in addition to five $1,000 scholarships awarded annually to local high school seniors pursuing a culinary or hospitality-related degree. For more information, click here and check out the Taste on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.