TASTE brings together community, food and art to aid mission of Holy Angels

The 38th Annual TASTE: A Festival of Food & Art was held Thursday, Sept. 27 at the Bossier Civic Center in Bossier City to benefit Holy Angels. (Stacey Tinsley/Press-Tribune)

Food, art and a good cause immersed together as one Thursday, bringing awareness to a nonprofit helping the community.

The 38th Annual TASTE: A Festival of Food & Art was held at the Bossier Civic Center in Bossier City to benefit Holy Angels. 

Guests were able to “taste their way” around the convention center with delicious samplings from more than 30 food and drink vendors. More than 300 pieces of artwork and items were up for bid in one of the area’s largest silent auctions and guests were entertained by the band, Windstorm and the Holy Angels Choir. 

“This event means the world to us. We receive Medicaid funding, but it does not cover the level of care that we provide. So, we have a gap of over $1 million dollars per year that we have to raise to continue these wonderful services for so many that are in need,” says Laurie Boswell, CEO of Holy Angels. 

Guests were treated to specialty dishes from new vendors like The Port Grill and Lowder Baking Company, alongside many returning vendors such as Whisk Dessert Bar Shaver’s Catering and the Chocolate Crocodile.

“It’s always a blessing to come out here, meet new people and help bring awareness to this event,” said Jennifer Brewer, general manager at the Chocolate Crocodile in Bossier City.

This year, 905 guests participated in the silent auction. Last year, 601 guests participated.

“Eighty-six cents of every dollar raised goes directly towards the care of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities at Holy Angels,” said Boswell.

One out of the four platinum sponsors at Thursday’s fundraiser was first time company sponsor, Sealy and Company. Lauren Pettiette, business process specialist with Sealy and Company, says they wanted to show appreciation to their employees while also giving back to the community. And TASTE seemed to be a perfect fit. 

“Recently, we received some feedback from our employees that they would like more community involvement as a whole. We wanted a way to give back to our employees and show our appreciation for them, while giving back to the community at the same time. So, we decided to do a company sponsorship this year and treat all of our local Shreveport employees to the event,” said Pettiette.

Lauren Pettiette, left, and Laurie Boswell, right. (Stacey Tinsley/Press-Tribune)

Holy Angels is an independent, nonprofit organization dedicated to providing love, support and empowerment for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

“On behalf of the 180 individuals that we serve in residential care, another 40 to 50 at the autism center, 100 in the day program, and 280 staff members, I’d like to say that we appreciate the sustainment and the commitment the restaurants have made, all the vendors and everyone in our community that’s here tonight. Thank you,” Boswell added.

The first Taste was held in September 1981 in the Holy Angels gymnasium.