Gourmet food tasting highlights Bronc athletics fund-raiser
Posted: 07/20/2007
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Food connoisseurs and sports enthusiasts alike will find something to please their palate at this year's "The Grape Escape" gourmet food and beverage tasting fund-raiser hosted by The University of Texas-Pan American Department of Intercollegiate Athletics Friday, Aug. 10.

Sponsored by the Bronc Athletic Club, the event will be held from 6-11 p.m. at the Shary Shivers Estate located at 3.5 miles North Shary Road, Palmhurst (north of Mission).

"Whether you are a sports fan, a person who appreciates fine food, an alumnus of UTPA, or just looking for an entertaining Friday evening that supports a great program, you will enjoy this event," said Scott Street, UTPA director of athletics.

Planning "The Grape Escape" are front left to right Natalie Haime, UTPA director of athletic marketing and promotions and Susana M. Santos, president, Exceptional Wines. Rear left to right are Rene Cantu, UTPA assistant athletic director for development; Elson Rivera, general manager, Sodexho; Pepe Cabeza de Vaca, publisher, SOCIALIFE News Magazine; Monica Sandoval, executive chef, Sodexho; Emilio D. Santos, C.E.O., Exceptional Wines; and Pedro Paredes, sous chef, Sodexho.
The event will showcase a wide selection of beverages from around the world and an eclectic menu mix of Nuevo Latino, Old World favorites, and progressive American. Sodexho's General Manager Elson Rivera, who has been in the foodservice business for 35 years starting off as an executive chef and then moving into management, was instrumental in planning the menu for "The Grape Escape."

While enjoying hors d'oeuvres, attendees can also shop at a silent auction for sports memorabilia, men's and woman's fine jewelry, gift baskets, gift certificates, and much more. Smile Again massage therapists will also be providing complimentary massages for those in attendance. The group After June will provide musical entertainment.

The MVP Title Sponsors for the event are Sodexho and SOCIALIFE News Magazine. Other sponsors for "The Grape Escape" include Lone Star National Bank, International Bank of Commerce, The Sign Depot and Exceptional Wines.

Tickets are $25 per person or $35 a couple and can be purchased in advance by calling the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics at 956/381-2221. Tickets may also be purchased at the door.

Proceeds from "The Grape Escape" will support athletic scholarships for student-athletes in the 13 intercollegiate sports provided in the UTPA athletics program. For more information on athletics at UTPA, log on to