Warriors & Quiet Waters Foundation (WQW) raised $526,000 at its third annual Warrior Taste Fest fundraiser. The high-energy event brought in over 500 supporters who enjoyed food, beer, and cocktail samples from 28 Montana vendors. Saul Martinez, sergeant, U.S. Army, (Ret.), gave the keynote address about his transition into civilian life and how WQW shaped his journey. Martinez is WQW's Chief Program Officer.
Warrior Taste Fest, which took place at Haynes Pavilion at the Gallatin County Fairgrounds on Friday, September 10, began with a VIP hour at 5 p.m. that allowed guests the opportunity to chat with the 10 quick-finish artists whose paintings were later part of the live auction. When doors opened for general admission at 6 p.m., voting for the "Best Under the Big Sky" began and guests were able to vote for the favorite bite, beer, and cocktail of the evening.
The Iron Horse Cafe, Willie's Distillery, and Bridger Brewing all took home trophies for the Best of the Big Sky Competition.
Some of the items with the highest bids during the live auction included quick finishes by artist Todd Connor titled The Protector for $27,000, a piece by Troy Collins that sold for $22,000 entitled A Path to Peaceful Water, and Tom Gilleon's quick finish titled Badger Lodge for $20,000.
“By giving so generously, the crowd at Warrior Taste Fest demonstrated a deep gratitude for veterans and service members, as well as an outstanding commitment to providing them with connection, camaraderie, and purpose through WQW programs,” said Emily Sather, WQW’s Chief Development Officer.
Thank you to all the sponsors, vendors, and guests who made this year's Warrior Taste Fest a success. To learn more about how you can support WQW, please visit our Donation page.