a man receives food from chefs at an outdoor kitchen
Aug 5, 2023
Flathead Beacon

FVCC Foundation’s Summer Event Raises $45,000 for Student Scholarships

By Tristan Scott

The Flathead Valley Community College (FVCC) Foundation announced having raised $45,000 for student scholarships at its summer Festival of Flavors event.

Tagen Vine, the FVCC Foundation’s chief development officer, hailed the June 26 fundraising event as a success. Called the Summer Soiree on Swan River, it was held at The Nest on Swan River in Bigfork.

“We are grateful for the generosity of our Bigfork community and all of our Flathead Valley friends who joined us to support our students in their educational journeys,” according to a statement from Vine.

During the event, attendees heard from FVCC student Nate Frizzell, who described his experience finding his confidence and passion through the FVCC music program. Thanks to the generosity of scholarship donors, Frizzell said he is able to continue his education at FVCC and perform in FVCC’s concerts and theater productions, something he said would not be possible without scholarship support.

The outdoor food and beverage event featured a variety of fresh summer flavors prepared by Chef Star Ironside of the House of S&M Catering, paired with wines from event sponsor Summit Beverage’s repertoire of domestic and imported wines, according to a press release. 

FVCC alumnus Max Armstrong performed modern and Celtic music on his electric violin. Max graduated from FVCC with his associate degree with an emphasis in music and then continued his education in entertainment management at the University of Montana. Max currently performs in four bands in the Flathead Valley and is a patron services representative at FVCC’s Wachholz College Center.

Vine and FVCC President Jane Karas emceed the evening and auctioned off unique live and silent auction packages, including dinner and a boat ride on the Swan River hosted by FVCC Foundation board members and a gift package to the Flathead Lake Brewing Company.

The FVCC Foundation’s next Festival of Flavors events will be held this fall, beginning with the Fall Kickoff on Sept. 29 and ending with the Grand Wine Tasting on Oct. 7 at the Wachholz College Center on the FVCC Campus. Tickets go on sale for all fall events on Aug. 15 at 8 a.m. at

All proceeds from FVCC Festival of Flavors events support student scholarships at the college. Nearly 80% of degree-seeking students at FVCC receive financial aid, and the FVCC Foundation awards over $1 million in scholarships each year. 

For more information about Festival of Flavors events and the FVCC Foundation, visit