The State College community gathers for fundraising fun at the annual Food Truck Fiesta | lifestyle

On Friday evening, community members flooded South Fraser Street as food trucks lined up and musical tunes filled the air at the annual Food Truck Fiesta.

“The Food Truck Festival is a huge community event built on the benefit of Thon,” said Nicole Copko, Apollo fundraiser.

Copco said Apollo, a special interest organization founded in 2011 in Pennsylvania, has hosted the Food Truck Fiesta annually since 2017, which supports Four Diamonds families by bringing community members together.

This year’s festival brought a variety of food trucks – including Sunset Slush, Real Taste Taqueria, Brazilian Munchies and The Funnel Cake Kings. Besides trucks, the event featured live music, merchandise stalls, and roadside games.

Ohana, another Penn State special interest organization, joined Apollo for this year’s festival.

“All special interest organizations really work together,” said Mallory Robinson, president of Ohana Fundraising. “It’s nice because we are all fighting for the same cause.”

Robinson (Teaching English for Beginner and Intermediate levels) was stationed at a kiosk alongside Sophia Farrie, Ohana’s donor alumni relations chair, selling homemade cookies and bracelets made by one of Ohana’s THON children.

Community members eat food outside the yard of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. during the Food Truck Festival in State College, Pennsylvania on Friday, September 16, 2022.

“Just like Apollo, our main goal for THON is fundraising for children,” said Fareri (Behavioral Health of Young Vitals). “We just love coming here and getting to know everyone.”

As the feast continued, students, families, and locals of all ages roamed the street – enjoying the food and soaking up the last rays of the evening sun.

“I just joined Apollo so I heard they were organizing the event and I invited some of my friends,” said student Ryan Helle (Human-Centred Design and Development).

Ryan Dockery (junior marketing), who was playing the cornhole alongside Healy, explained that he was new to Apollo and was “trying to meet people,” so the feast seemed like “a fun thing to do.”

While observing community participation, Kopko (Beginners Education – Private) was “happy with the turnout” and mentioned that fundraisers have bands that donated their time as well.

Local band Mellow Honey gave a psychedelic rock performance that grabbed the community’s attention by jamming out songs titled “Glass Corridor”, “Withered Garden” and “The Sugar Store”.

Food Truck Festival, Water Ice

Community members buy water ice from a food truck on Fraser Street during the Food Truck Fiesta in State College, Pennsylvania on Friday, September 16, 2022.

“We’ve worked with Apollo in the past,” said guitarist Robert Borisevich. “We did a show with them last year, and it was so much fun that we had to do it again.”

Marcin Borisevich, a band member and Robert’s brother, noted that many people were dancing and getting food while tapping into the “rockin'” beat of Mellow Honey.

“We’re just here to have some fun,” said Marcin (chief computer engineer). “So if people hear the music, even if it’s two blocks away, someone has heard ours and that’s fun.”

Dillon Holzheimer, Drummer and Local and State College, agreed that playing outside was fun, “especially in good weather.”

“Usually the crowd we draw is a very specific group of people,” said Robert (a sophomore in cybersecurity). “But, outside you will be like a father with a child on his shoulders, and the families will go out.”

“Even if they don’t like psychic[edelic] Robert said.

As evening approaches, and people are taking their last bites at the burritos, members of Apollo have thought about the food truck festival and fundraising efforts.

“Every dish is one step closer to this treatment,” said James Pewdeau, president of Apollo.

“I love this event because you have the community around you and no matter what they buy or access to,” Pewdo (chief accountant) said, “it’s all for a treat.”

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