It’s a good thing that 5k races have become such a trendy way to raise money for charity lately.
How else are Wichitans supposed to burn off all the good deeds they do at the growing number of food- and drink-centered fundraisers that are equally as trendy?
The first six months of each year are high season for food fundraisers around Wichita. A few of them, including as the Girl Scouts’ Cocktails & Cookies event, already have happened. But several more are coming up soon.
Loaf Off, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. March 9: Is there such a thing as too much meatloaf? Meatloaf lovers can find out at this fundraiser for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. The event, now in its fifth year, keeps growing in attendees and contestants. It features enough professional and amateur meatloaf chefs to fill up both sides of The Anchor at 1109 E. Douglas. Attendees sample each meatloaf, then vote on a favorite. A panel of judges chooses winners in categories including “Best in Show” and “Top Loaf.” The Anchor serves sides. Admission is $10 for adults and $5 for children ages 5 to 10. Aspiring competitors can sign up to enter the competition until Tuesday. There’s a $25 fee. For more information, call 316-619-0535 or e-mail email@example.com.
Shaken Not Stirred, 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. March 27: This fundraiser for Tallgrass Film Festival is new to the scene — and sounds dangerous. The “James Bond”-inspired party, which will be at Abode Venue, 1330 E. Douglas, features a martini competition between mixologists from The Anchor, Heroes Sports Bar & Grill, Larkspur, The Monarch, Mort’s, Public at the Brickyard and Taste and See.
A panel of judges and attendees will pick the winning mixologist, who will win a trophy and cash prize. His or her martini also will be featured during the film festival in October. The event will feature a cigar bar, food by Larkspur and Bond-themed entertainment. Tickets are $77, available by calling 316-303-9292 or visiting the Tallgrass Film Festival Facebook page. Tickets include a 2013 membership to the Tallgrass Film Association.
Palette to Palate, 7 p.m. April 4: This annual fundraiser for KETCH is a classy affair that features an art auction, wine auction and food tasting stations by some of Wichita’s best-known restaurants. This year, the event will be at the Wichita Marriott, 9100 Corporate Hills Drive. Tickets are $75 a person, available at ketch.org or by calling 316-383-8889.
Death by Chocolate, 7 p.m. April 13: Though everyone who has attended this 7-year-old fundraiser has lived to tell, it was no doubt a close call in some cases. The event, a fundraiser for Exploration Place, fills every inch of the museum at 300 N. McLean Blvd. with chocolate creations from Wichita’s bakers, caterers, restaurants and chocolatiers. Attendees are asked to sample and vote on the best treats. There’s also non-sweet food, adult beverages, live music and a silent auction. Tickets are $80 a person, available by calling 316-660-0620 or visiting exploration.org.
Midwest Winefest, April 18 through 20: Tickets to the anticipated Midwest Winefest go on sale March 11. The three-day event includes an Old Town “Walkabout,” which always sells out quickly, plus Friday night wine dinners and the “Grand Tasting,” a Saturday event that fills Century II with food and wine samples. Tickets to the Walkabout are $40, and tickets to the Grand Tasting are $60. Both will be on sale at www.wichitatix.com. Tickets to the wine dinners will be on sale through the Wichita Chapter of the American Institute for Wine and Food at 316-682-5502. For a complete schedule of events, visit www.midwestwinefest.com.
Blooms, Brews & Bloody Marys, 6:30 p.m. May 3: This tasty fundraiser for Botanica is at the gardens at 701 N. Amidon and features local restaurants competing with their Bloody Mary recipes. There’s also beer from River City Brewing Co. and Wichita Brewing Co. and Pizzeria. Tickets are $40 a person at www.botanica.org or by calling 316-264-0448.
Celebrity and Chef Auction, 6 p.m. June 11: This annual event, which partners local chefs and celebrities into duos that cook live — “Iron Chef”-style — raises money for the Orpheum Theatre. It takes place at the Wichita Marriott, 9100 Corporate Hills Drive, and also offers tasting stations and drinks. Tickets will go on sale in early March at the theater box office, 200 N. Broadway. They’ll be $75 a person.
Restaurant Week, June 21-30: The Boys and Girls Clubs of South Central Kansas are teaming up with Go Wichita and the Kansas Restaurant and Hospitality Association to put on Wichita’s first “Restaurant Week.” The group is hoping to involve at least 25 local restaurants, which would offer pre-set one-price meals. The restaurants agree to donate 10 percent of each meal back to the Boys and Girls Clubs. More information is coming.