Alumni Taco Tasting Raises $20,000 in Scholarship Funds
The University of St. Thomas Alumni Association raised more than $20,000 for continuing student scholarships at the inaugural “Two Saints and a Taco Tasting,” held April 19 at Saint Arnold Brewery.
About 300 alumni, students, faculty, staff and friends attended the event, which featured tacos from some of Houston’s most popular restaurants and the full line up from Texas’ oldest craft brewery.
The winner of the taco tasting was selected by popular vote – St. Arnold beer caps in glass jars for each restaurant – and Escalante’s Fine Tex-Mex was the champion, with their hit “Mexico City” tacos. Escalante’s earned bragging rights and a “Chihuahua Bling” Trophy, handmade by Kelli Kickerillo ’03, president of the Alumni Association Board of Directors.
Guests also sampled tacos from Baker St. Pub & Grill, Berryhill Baja Grill, Bocados, El Tiempo Cantina, Hearsay Gastro Lounge, Roots Bistro, Taquerias Arandas and TQLA.
The event featured 20 silent auction items focused on tacos, saints or beer with packages such as: “Tacos in the Sky” with a one-night stay and dinner at Hyatt Hotel; “No more Beer Belly” with a fitness package, and “St. Patrick’s Package,” including a home brew kit.
Live music was provided by the UST Jazz Ensemble and the band, The Beans, a fitting musical group for a taco tasting.
The scholarships will benefit the UST Alumni Association Annual Scholarship Fund, with scholarships to be awarded to at least three continuing students.
Drew Wilson, vice president of the Alumni Association, said one of the most appealing things about the scholarship fund is that it is for students who are currently enrolled at UST.
“Once a student is committed to the tenets of building faith and character, the Alumni Board sees to it that they can continue their journey and complete it with graduation,” Wilson said.
Kickerillo said the UST Alumni Board hosts a fundraiser each spring and credits Wilson with the new idea for the Taco Tasting.
“The idea took flight and the Alumni Board hopes to make this an annual event that grows every year,” Kickerillo said.
Other notable guests included Mary and Vincent Kickerillo; Michele Malloy, chair of the UST Board of Directors; Elizabeth and Zack Fertitta; Nick Espinosa ’99; Anna Hawley ’96 and Chris Hawley, and Jennifer Mengis, MLA ’11, and Mike Mengis ’82.