TASTE OF KEY WEST: 280 WINE & BEER OPTIONS TO SUPPORT THE CAUSE

There is no fine print when it comes to Taste of Key West. No need to wonder how much of your donation actually reaches the intended recipient, no calculations of gross and net proceeds after expenses because the expenses are nearly nonexistent.

The generosity of all participating restaurants and beverage purveyors is what has made Taste of Key West so successful for nearly 30 years. Attendees buy tickets at the door that are then traded for samples of food, wines and beers once inside the venue, which is lined with booths offering mouth-watering options.

But here’s where the Key West community, and specifically AH Monroe win — all food, wine, beer, prep time, labor costs and set-up time is donated by the food and drink providers. All of it.

“We couldn’t do this without them and their generosity,” said AH Monroe Executive Director Scott Pridgen. “The amount of food, drinks, preparation and staff time that these companies donate is really unparalleled and we couldn’t be more grateful.”

The 280 or so options for wine and beer all are provided by Republic National Distributing Co., which has been the main beverage sponsor for Taste of Key West since its inception 27 years ago, said Roxi Garciga, who handles public relations and special events for RNDC in Florida.

“I’ve personally been involved with Taste of Key West for the past 17 years, but Republic National has been donating the wine and beer for the past 27 years, since the beginning. Each year, I ask our suppliers and the brands we represent who wants to donated and participate, and there’s never a shortage of willing participants,” Garciga said. “The companies are really happy to do it, knowing it’s going to such a good and worthy cause. And really, who’s not happy to come to Key West for a few days while taking part in a great charity event? It’s really not a tough sell.”

Community involvement and volunteerism is one of the tenets of RNDC.

 “We are committed to serving and enabling the positive well-being and success of our many communities and stakeholders,” states the family-owned company’s website. “Republic National Distributing Co.’s commitment to corporate social responsibility is part of our DNA….We participate in charitable and advocacy efforts that strengthen the social character, well-being, and growth of the many communities where we live and operate.”

Nowhere is that philosophy more apparent than at Taste of Key West. Let’s raise a glass together at Taste of Key West on Monday, April 25 at Truman Waterfront.

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Mandy Miles drops stuff, breaks things and falls down more than any adult should. An award-winning writer, reporter and columnist, she's been stringing words together in Key West since 1998. "Local news is crucial," she says. "It informs and connects a community. It prompts conversation. It gets people involved, holds people accountable. The Keys Weekly takes its responsibility seriously. Our owners are raising families in Key West & Marathon. Our writers live in the communities we cover - Key West, Marathon & the Upper Keys. We respect our readers. We question our leaders. We believe in the Florida Keys community. And we like to have a good time." Mandy's married to a saintly — and handy — fishing captain, and can't imagine living anywhere else.