Boys and Girls Clubs to Bring Local Food Vendors Together in River City Taste Expo This Fall

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Thursday, June 23, 2022 ~ Updated 10:15 PM

Boys and Girls Clubs of Southeast Missouri is giving the community an opportunity to support area youth and taste delicious food from local restaurants at their upcoming fall fundraiser, The River City Taste Expo.

The River City Taste Expo will take place Thursday, Sept. 29, and allow guests to try food from any vendor at the expo, with the purchase of a single ticket. The main goal of this event is to raise money to support the Boys and Girls Clubs of Southeast Missouri.

The Boys and Girls Clubs of Southeast Missouri’s mission is to provide a safe, positive and educational environment for area youth after school and during summer breaks. The agency is part of the national organization and currently has club sites in Cape Girardeau and Scott City. Treece says one of their main goals is to “give kids opportunities to reach their full potential.”

Before the pandemic, Treece says the Boys and Girls Clubs of Southeast Missouri served 150 children every day in their after-school program and summer programs combined. The organization reduced the number of students they served due to COVID-19, but now, Treece says that number is rising again. The River City Taste Expo is one of the biggest community-wide events the organization has hosted since the pandemic, outside of their holiday event in December 2021.

Treece says this fundraiser is different from other fundraisers they’ve planned, because it appeals to a wide audience and gives the kids of Boys and Girls Clubs a chance to participate.

“We have different opportunities throughout the year for people to support the club; those are [mostly] geared towards adults,” Treece says. “This event ties in great with us, because it’s something we can promote to our kids. It’s something they can participate in, and see their Boys and Girls Club, our logo. Our staff will be there on-site, and our kids can see that. It’s a different aspect that our kids haven’t seen in several years — our organization doing a community-wide event that they can also attend.”

The River City Taste Expo is also different from past fundraisers because of its focus on food. Treece says the idea for the taste expo originated from “Taste of the Town” hosted by Boys and Girls Club of Poplar Bluff, Mo., every May. He says the event has become a staple in the Poplar Bluff community, and Treece hopes the River City Taste Expo will have a similar effect.

Treece says the taste expo’s vendors will be 100% local restaurants and eateries, because he wants to support the community, since the community supports the Boys and Girls Clubs of Southeast Missouri. He says he hopes this will give the local vendors an opportunity to market themselves and their menu, so the area can know “they’re back and open for business” following the pandemic. Treece says they will serve a variety of the great food offered in the community.

When people support or donate to the Boys and Girls Clubs of Southeast Missouri, Treece says they are investing in the youth of the community.

“Any dollar you spend with the Boys and Girls Clubs in support of us, you’re supporting the kids right here in the community, and it stays here in the community,” Treece says. “If you live in Cape Girardeau, you’re supporting Cape Girardeau kids. If you live in Scott City and you donate, you’re supporting those kids in Scott City.”

Corporate tables and individual tickets for the River City Taste Expo will be available for purchase on the Boys and Girls Clubs of Southeast Missouri’s website or Eventbrite soon. For more information on the organization and their upcoming events, visit or the organization’s Facebook page,