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Taste of Madison Set for April 15 at Park Avenue Club

Guy Kipp

Monday, April 1, 2013 • 5:54pm

MADISON, NJ – The Park Avenue Club at 184 Park Ave. in Florham Park will be the setting for the 13th annual “Taste of Madison” on Monday, April 15 beginning at 6 p.m.

The event, organized jointly by the Rotary Club of Madison, the borough’s Downtown Development Commission (DDC) and the Madison Chamber of Commerce, provides funding to help promote downtown businesses and generate proceeds for nonprofit organizations in the community.

Gary’s Wine & Marketplace will supply an array of fine vintages for the event, which features cuisine from many of Madison’s top restaurants.

“Gary’s Wine & Marketplace has been pleased to be associated with the Taste of Madison since its inception and we work closely with the three organizations and all the wonderful Madison restaurants to make this a very special event,” said Donna Bird, director of human resources and community affairs for Gary’s Wine & Marketplace. “We will have over 30 vendor tables attending this year showing wine, beers and liquors along with three gourmet tables featuring our fresh-cut cheese, charcuterie, bread and chocolates that we carry in our store’s gourmet department. We are proud that our involvement makes this one of the very best wine events in the area.”

The Chamber of Commerce, the Rotary Club and the DDC shared proceeds that netted about $36,000 during the 2012 event.

“It’s been very successful, and we’ve never had an off-year for enthusiasm from merchants or restaurateurs in town,” said Carmela Moeller, president of the Rotary Club, which funds charitable causes in Madison. “We attract people from all over the place. It’s sort of like a ‘see and be seen’ event’, and we’re very happy with the result. All food and drink are contributed by the restaurant owners. The Park Avenue Club has been extremely generous, and Gary has a huge mailing list and he advertises the event through his many contacts.”

Maureen Byrne, a co-chair of the committee and a representative of the DDC, estimated attendance at last year’s “Taste of Madison” at more than 400.

“ 'Taste of Madison’ was conceived as a way of highlighting and supporting Madison restaurants and raising money for three organizations in town. All the restaurants break out their signature dishes. It’s a really fun event.

“The DDS was formed to promote Madison’s downtown business district, both along Park Avenue and on Main Street and in the East end,” Byrne said. “The DDC does projects that improve downtown, including sidewalk cleaning machines, garbage receptacles and our ‘May Day,’ when the whole town turns out to weed beds, mulch and plant flowers. And we have the Farmer’s Market from June through October on Thursday afternoons. This year, the Farmer’s Market will be on Green Village Road.

“All these things require money, and proceeds from ‘Taste of Madison’ help fund promotion of downtown.”

The Madison Chamber of Commerce promotes business development in the community.

For the general public, VIP Tickets cost $100 and include early entry to the event at 6 p.m., and regular admission tickets are priced at $65, with entry at 7 p.m. Tickets are available at Gary’s Wine and Marketplace at 121 Main St. in Madison, or by visiting www.TasteOfMadison.org.

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