Taste of Southern Illinois returns to Marion, raises money for children in need

MARION, Ill. (KBSI) – Where can you try some of the best food Southern Illinois has to offer while also helping provide clothes to children in need? That place would be the Taste of Southern Illinois. 

“If somebody would have told me 21 years ago that we’d be clothing over 700 children a year with new wardrobes for school, I would have said, ‘How are we going to do that?’ Here we are,” Senator Dale Fowler said.

That “we” is the Fowler Bonan Foundation, Fowler can’t thank the vendors who participate in the Taste of Southern Illinois enough.

“That’s what’s really special about how we step up here in Southern Illinois and help others, and for them to take their time, especially during these times where staffing can be an issue with a lot of these restaurants, and for them to be able to take their time and bring their product here on a Sunday afternoon and help children, that speaks volumes,” he said.

Tyson Southern Illinois Co-Chair Michael Tyson said this event is also an excellent way for the vendors to increase exposure for their restaurants. 

“These are the clientele of these restaurants, so they’re really showcasing the restaurant, and they’re showing themselves to be a good community citizen,” he said. “So really, I think it’s a perfect way for people to market their restaurant.” 

One of those restaurants in attendance was 618 Public House, and Kitchen Manager Stephan Ackermann said both the exposure and the foundation were reasons for the restaurant’s participation. 

“The exposure is great. We do appreciate it, but really for us, it is just to help out the foundation and raise some money for a great organization,” he said.

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