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Mountain Khakis Supports the 8th Annual Taste of Riverside

Grand Junction, Colorado isn’t known for it’s Mexican food. Unlike other southwestern destinations, including Durango, Colorado, anywhere in New Mexico and even Salt Lake City, Utah, it’s not easy to find authentic Mexican cuisine, unless you count street tacos from a food truck (and they are worth counting).

For the 8th year, the Riverside Education Center enlisted families from their program to cook for the Taste of Riverside fundraiser.  A popular event, the Taste of Riverside raises money for important programs for kids and teens. It’s also one of the best opportunities for the local community to enjoy a home-cooked traditional Mexican meal.

The Riverside Education Center is an after school tutoring and enrichment program for students in grades K-12. The mission of the Riverside Education Center (REC) is to provide structured tutoring and diverse extracurricular activities for academically and financially qualifying students. Each year, REC serves 140 students. 86% of these students receive free or reduced lunches and 92% are from a minority background.

For 6 years, my sons volunteered as after school tutors for elementary students at REC. Without a doubt, this experience has one of the most valuable they had in high school.

Other REC programing includes a middle school program offering tutoring, skill building and service learning opportunities and a high school program offering tutoring and college and scholarship application assistance.

This year, the Taste of Riverside served 225 guests and raised almost $50,000, an all-time high. Mountain Khakis participated in the silent auction and did its part with the donation of two gift cards.

Reflecting on this year’s event, Executive Director Joy Hudak shares the following.

“The Taste of Riverside is a great fundraiser for us each year.  Not only because we meet our fundraising goals, but because it is a time to bring our families, students, staff, board, and other community volunteers together.  It’s not just one person or one group trying to reach a goal.  It is different people across our community coming together to help impact kids who need it most with academic and extra-curricular activities.  It’s a great time for us to build community supporting kids.”  

Riverside is an historic, unique neighborhood in Grand Junction. Well-established, with a lot of community pride, some families have lived in Riverside for generations. Many of these families are Hispanic and very active in the Grand Junction community.

The historic Riverside school and the Dual Immersion Academy School (a public school with teaching in both Spanish and English) anchor the neighborhood. The historic school is also the home of the Riverside Education Center.