woman speaking at lectern
Sep 10, 2014

FVCC Festival of Flavors Supports Student Scholarships: Nine-day event opens September 26

FVCC Transformation Scholarship Recipient Sam Roslie thanks Festival goers for their support at the Festival of Flavors Grand Wine Tasting last October.
FVCC Transformation Scholarship Recipient Sam Roslie thanks Festival goers for their support at the Festival of Flavors Grand Wine Tasting last October.

Festival of Flavors, the Flathead Valley Community College Foundation’s signature event, will return for its seventh season September 26-October 4, spanning five communities across the Flathead Valley. The gala serves as the Foundation’s main scholarship fundraising event, with last year’s event raising record net proceeds of more than $150,000 to support student scholarships and programs at FVCC.


This past year, the FVCC Foundation awarded $128,000 in scholarships to FVCC students, double the amount from the previous year. The Foundation also was able to increase faculty grant funding to $30,000, backing multiple projects including student travel, enabling students to present their research at regional and national conferences.


“Because of the generosity of our communities, businesses and individuals who support Festival of Flavors and other Foundation fundraising events, our Foundation continues to grow and provide more students the motivation and resources they need to achieve their educational goals,” said FVCC President Jane Karas. “The impact these scholarships and increased funding has on our students will last a lifetime.”


Students who receive scholarships complete their education at a higher success rate and in a shorter timeframe, Karas added. Karas and scholarship recipients will attend most of the Festival events, providing community members the opportunity to learn more about FVCC programs and the impact scholarships have on student success.


FVCC student Sam Roslie can attest to the significant impact the scholarship she received has had not only on herself but also her family.  As the first recipient of the Foundation’s $10,000 Transformation Scholarship, Roslie calls the scholarship “life-changing.”


“I’m excited to keep on the educational path ahead of me, reminding myself of what has made the journey possible,” said Roslie. “The impact of this life-changing gift is one my family and I will cherish always.”


On September 26, the Foundation, in partnership with event sponsor Fun Beverage, Inc., will open the nine-day festival by hosting “Campus Uncorked,” featuring regional wines and brews paired with tastings from a first-ever competitive cook-off between students of The Culinary Institute of Montana at FVCC. All guests will have the opportunity to vote for the People’s Choice Award and enjoy live music on the college’s Kalispell campus. Tickets to this event are $50 per person.


On September 29, guests can attend one of two new events. Hellroaring Saloon & Eatery Chef, FVCC alumnus and Chef’s Table favorite Tony Palmer will bring his culinary talents to the newly-opened Kalispell Brewery for an evening of Brews, Blues & BBQ, the first-ever food event in the new brewery. For $75 a person, guests can enjoy a sit down meal, beer tasting and live music by blues musician Kevin Van Dort.


That same night, wine lovers can experience “Standing Ovation” with Chef Blu Funk at Showthyme in Bigfork. Tickets are $100 each and include a wine pairing with each sit-down course. The menu will feature chanterelles with house-cured bacon beignets; double-baked gruyère soufflé with Waldorf salad; scallops poached with Noilly Prat® and saffron; garlic-studded filet of beef with snails; and almond and white chocolate gâteau with bitter chocolate glaze.


Also, new to the Festival schedule are three new venues in three different communities. On September 30, guests can join Chef Jason Sanders for “Haskill Nation,” an evening of fine dining and wine pairing at Haskill Station in Whitefish with live guitar entertainment by FVCC Music Instructor Steve Eckels. On October 1, Chef Keith Matthews invites guests to wine and dine in the “Great Escape” at Truby’s at Meadow Lake Resort in Columbia Falls. Then, on October 2, guests can enjoy “Summer’s End at Seven” with Chef Eric Larson at the new wine restaurant, Seven, in Lakeside. All dinners will feature four to five courses with wine pairings and cost $100 per person.


The event will culminate October 4 at Kalispell’s Hilton Garden Inn with the Grand Wine Tasting, featuring silent and live auctions and up to 200 regional wines, dozens of food vendors and stations showcasing special cuisine prepared and served by FVCC’s culinary faculty and students. Live jazz will be provided by Erica von Kleist and accompanying artists. Silent auction items will include bottles of fine wine, creative college classes, food and kitchen items and a variety of entertainment and art, including original art by FVCC Art Department faculty and students. The live auction will feature trips to New York City, Scottsdale, Ariz., and Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, and private dinners with FVCC professional chefs and out-of-town guest chefs.


“We thank the many businesses and community members who sponsor and attend these events. They make it all possible,” said Festival Chair Donna Lawson. “We look forward to savoring the wonderful moments of Festival 2014, knowing we did some great work to help students in need.”


To view all Festival menus and purchase tickets, or for more information on the auctions, visit, or call 756-3632.