A Culinary Celebration for a Cause: The Isle of Palms’ Taste of the Island Banquet

A Culinary Celebration for a Cause: The Isle of Palms’ Taste of the Island Banquet

It’s that time of year again, eagerly awaited by Isle of Palms residents, as the LENS Foundation Isle of Palms’ Annual Fundraising Banquet approaches. This year’s event welcomes a new theme: Taste of the Island. Scheduled for May 15, 2024 at the Citadel Beach Club, this spectacular event promises an evening of culinary delights, community camaraderie, and unwavering support for a noble cause.

This banquet aims to acknowledge the Isle of Palms Police Department (IOPPD), raise funds to aid the IOPPD and the Isle of Palms community, and honor the exceptional dedication of volunteers and citizens who provide outstanding support. 

“The Police Department values our relationship with the Law Enforcement Neighborhood Support (LENS) group,” relayed Sergeant Matthew Storen. 

“Partnering with organizations like LENS allows us to significantly contribute to our community. We deeply value any opportunity to expand our community outreach and give back.”

Co-chairs of the banquet, Kitty Riley and Kathy Shook from the IOP Exchange Club are ecstatic for this year’s event, looking forward to the Taste of the Island concept.

“This year’s format ‘Taste of the Island’ will spotlight our wonderful local restaurants in support of a very worthy cause,” detailed Riley.

Taste of the Island is not just an ordinary fundraising event; it’s a celebration of the island’s vibrant culinary scene. Local restaurants will provide sample dishes at food stations set up around the venue for attendees to evaluate and vote on their favorite. Guests can look forward to an array of delectable dishes prepared by renowned local chefs, showcasing the best flavors the island has to offer. 

From fresh seafood caught right off the coast to mouthwatering Lowcountry specialties, every bite is a testament to the island’s rich culinary heritage. Participating Isle of Palms eateries include Long Island Cafe, Simmons Seafood, Café Paname, Front Beach Group, The Boathouse, Harris Teeter, Refuge, Islander 71, ACME Lowcountry Kitchen, and Wild Dunes, with more yet to be announced. 

“This year’s annual LENS banquet ‘Taste of the island’ is a great way for us all to bring the local restaurant, community and police together,” said Shook, adding, “I am thankful for the awesome police department that we have and glad to have the opportunity to co-chair an event that supports them & our wonderful community!”

Lynn Pierotti, the founder of The Island Eye News and a Platinum Sponsor of the event, stated, “For 19 years, we have dedicated ourselves to promoting local restaurants. This event presents a fantastic opportunity to not only spotlight these businesses but also to acknowledge the contributions of LENS and the IOPPD to our community.”

In addition to the culinary delights, guests can also enjoy live entertainment, online auctions featuring unique island experiences and treasures, and the chance to mingle with fellow supporters who share a passion for making a positive impact in the Isle of Palms community.

Wild Dunes Resort and Explore Charleston are proud presenting sponsors of this event, with honorary co-chairs Tom Nolan, Director of Wild Dunes Resort, and Helen Hill, President and CEO of Explore Charleston, expressing their enthusiasm for supporting this cause.

“It’s my privilege to serve as an honorary co-chair for the 2024 IOP LENS Fundraising Banquet. This important event is an opportunity for the local community to support the IOPPD in its dedication to the safety and wellbeing of IOP residents and visitors as well as the fundraising efforts of the LENS program,” said Hill.

The Reddy Foundation, co-founded by Rom Reddy and his wife Renee, is another distinguished Platinum Sponsor for the event. Rom Reddy remarked, “Renee and I have directed our Foundation’s mission towards the education and protection of vulnerable children and women, both domestically and internationally. Aligning this mission with robust law enforcement efforts, we are proud to support LENS in our local community.”

This Banquet will also be dedicating time to recognize IOPPD Awards as well as recognizing the following LENS appreciation awards made for exceptional achievement:

2023 Founders Recognition Award – Mayor Phillip Pounds & Laurie Pounds 

2023 Volunteer of the Year – Dennis McLendon 

2023 George Reeth Leadership Award – Chaplain Paula Mullens 

2023 Lifetime Achievement award – Kathryn Marley Magruder 

So, mark your calendars, gather your friends and family, and join us on May 15, 2024, at the Citadel Beach Club, 5:30-9:00 p.m., for an evening of culinary excellence, community spirit, and philanthropic generosity at Taste of the Island. Together, let’s make a difference and ensure a brighter future for the Isle of Palms and its residents.

General Admission is $150 but there is opportunity to give more and even become a sponsor. Visit thelensfoundationiop.charityproud.org for more information/pricing details.

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