PARK SLOPE — Food lovers can help send needy students to college next month when the Park Slope Civic Council hosts its Food for Thought fundraiser.
Park Slope restaurants will be serving up sample size portions at the tasting event, to be held Oct. 10 at Prospect Park's Picnic House. Tickets are $75 before Oct. 1 and $100 after that.
The money will go toward the Civic Council's scholarship program, which hands out three $1,000 scholarships each year to collegebound seniors at Park Slope Collegiate, the Secondary School for Law and the Secondary School for Journalism — three of the schools at the John Jay Educational Campus on Seventh Avenue.
"A lot the students who receive these awards are the first in their family to go college," said Park Slope Civic Council trustee Judith Lief. "It's hugely important. Last year several of us decided that $1,000 is a lot for a student who has nothing, but we could do better."
The scholarships aren't academic — they're awarded to students with a strong track record of community service. A video about this year's scholarship winners will be shown at the Oct. 10 Food for Thought event so guests can see where their money is going.
Restaurants slated to serve food at Food for Thought include al di la, Stone Park Cafe, Palo Santo, Fort Reno BBQ, Baluchi's, 12th Street Bar & Grill, Kiwiana and Scottadito Osteria Toscana. Each restaurant will have a booth where they'll hand out tastes of their food. There are also several wine and spirit purveyors on the list, and a jazz pianist will provide music.
"We contacted restaurants we knew who were good and community-minded," Lief said. "One restaurant had a conflict, but I didn't call one restaurant that didn't say 'I'd love to do it.' They're being extremely generous."
The Park Slope Civic Council, which was formed in 1896, is a neighborhood improvement group that works on a wide variety of local issues, from expanding the neighborhood's historic districts to planting trees on gritty Fourth Avenue.
In addition to the scholarships, the Civic Council also hands out about $10,000 year in grants to neighborhood groups. Most of its annual budget comes from the tickets for annual house tours where the public can get a peek inside Park Slope's famed brownstones.
Food for Thought will be the Civic Council's first-ever fundraiser, part of an effort to beef up its scholarship program.
"If we could double the amount of the scholarships from $1,000 to $2,000, that's the least we'd like to do," Lief said. "Our goal as fundraisers is to raise as much money as possible. We want to boost what we're doing for these kids."