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'Taste of Shaler Area' fundraiser to benefit schools, showcase community

| Wednesday, March 2, 2016, 12:12 p.m.
George Irvin, from Shaler, has worked at Demore’s Pizzeria for 20 years. The longtime restaurant will be taking part in the 'Taste of Shaler' fundraiser from 5 to 7 p.m. on Saturday, March 19, at Shaler Area High School.
George Irvin, from Shaler, has worked at Demore’s Pizzeria for 20 years. The longtime restaurant will be taking part in the 'Taste of Shaler' fundraiser from 5 to 7 p.m. on Saturday, March 19, at Shaler Area High School.
Demore’s Pizzeria will be participating in the Taste of Shaler.
Demore’s Pizzeria will be participating in the Taste of Shaler.
Laila Tuffiash, 8, of Avalon takes part in the annual Caddy Stacks: Mini Golf “Fore” Shaler North Hills Library on Saturday, Feb. 20, 2016.
Laila Tuffiash, 8, of Avalon takes part in the annual Caddy Stacks: Mini Golf “Fore” Shaler North Hills Library on Saturday, Feb. 20, 2016.

Shaler Area Education Foundation is hosting its first fundraiser to benefit school programs and showcase the community.

“A Taste of Shaler Area” will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. March 19 at Shaler Area High School.

The event will feature food from local restaurants, live music from The Bleil Brothers jazz band and a variety of silent auction items.

“We came up with ‘A Taste of Shaler Area' as a way to raise money for the foundation and at the same time highlight the community,” said high school Principal Tim Royall, president of the foundation.

The Shaler Area Education Foundation is a nonprofit organization founded in 2014 dedicated to supporting the educational and curricular needs of Shaler Area students beyond what the district's budget covers.

The first project the foundation hopes to fund is installing STEAM Maker Lab research centers at the high school, middle school and elementary schools to enrich the district's STEAM curriculum, Royall said. The Maker Labs will consist of a classroom space for children to explore science, technology, engineering, arts and math through hands-on activities.

Along with raising money for the district's educational programs, “A Taste of Shaler Area” is showcasing community businesses with specialty food samples from restaurants, including The Boulevard Restaurant and Bar, Hog's Head Bar and Grill, Le Thai Café, Wilk's Eats and Treats, Pasquale's Pizzeria, Cole Café, Frank's Pizza and Chicken, Luca's Pizzeria, Jean-Marc Chatellier's French Bakery, DeMore's Pizzeria and the Nutrition Group.

The Bleil Brothers band, which consists of current high school senior Adam Bleil and several recent graduates, will provide entertainment throughout the evening. There will be a silent auction featuring student artwork and a $5,000 Duquesne University scholarship.

“We will have about 10 to 15 pieces of distinct artwork and sculptures,” Royall said. “Half the proceeds will go to the students and half will go to the foundation.”

The event is also a way of introducing the foundation to the community, said Shaler Area Education Foundation trustee Frank Orga. He hopes this event serves as a “building block for bigger and better things.”

“This is our first fundraiser to let people know that we're in existence and we're going to be doing other things to benefit the district… because the programs can't all be funded by the normal budget of a high school or grade school,” Orga said. “It's kind of a kickoff.”

If all goes well, the foundation hopes to make this an annual event and expand it. Royall said as a cost-saving measure this year, they held it at the high school, but they hope to move it off-site in future years.

Presale tickets are a $20 donation per person, and are on sale in the high school activities office. Tickets are $25 at the door. Contact the activities office for more information at 412-492-1200, ext. 1531.

Rachel Farkas is a contributing writer for the Tribune-Review.

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