Guests gather at Elkhorn Area High School at last year’s Stir It Up event, a fundraiser featuring food samples donated by numerous area restaurants and music provided by area high school music groups. This year’s event is 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., today.

Today’s event supports several area causes, groups

By Heather Ruenz

SLN staff

Stir It Up, an annual charitable fundraising event that began three years ago, aims to provide a creative way for the greater community to support several area causes.

This year’s event, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Sunday, Nov. 5 at Elkhorn Area High School, will feature a wide variety of food samples from top area restaurants and entertainment by music groups from EAHS, Big Foot High School and Westosha Central.

This year’s beneficiaries are VIP Services, Inc., the Walworth County Domestic Violence Shelter Build Campaign and area high school music programs.

Donna Neshek, who serves on the board for VIP Services and co-chairs Stir It Up with Ed Scaro, said the two of them had been tossing around new fundraising ideas and Neshek had heard of an event called Soups On from the Naperville Rotary Club.

“So, a few of us went to that event and decided to give it a go here. Because the Rotary Club of Elkhorn had a similar food event, we didn’t want to step on their toes so invited them to partner with us in our new event and Stir It Up was born,” Neshek said.

The Rotary handles lining up restaurants to participate and is a share partner so the proceeds support the club and it’s chosen charity – the shelter build campaign this year, along with VIP and school music programs.

The event has grown the past two years, from 500 to 600 attendees, Neshek said, with 20 restaurants expected to take part this year.

The amount of money raised has also grown, from $34,000 the first year to $40,000 in 2016. Funds come from several levels of sponsorship, ticket sales and raffles, and the goal this year is to raise $50,000.

Gold sponsors for this year’s event are Kunes Country Auto Group and Advia Credit Union (Peoples Bank) along with numerous other businesses, organizations and members of the greater community stepping in to support the event in a variety of capacities.


Local connections

Neal Raskin, director of music at Big Foot High School, said the school’s jazz ensemble will perform at Stir It Up for the second year.

“We had a great time performing last year. The students and families enjoyed sampling the food and enjoyed the atmosphere of the event,” Raskin said. “We’re happy to support VIP Services and the other organizations by providing entertainment. Our students are service-oriented at Big Foot and our music ensembles contribute to our positive school and community atmosphere.”

The tentative entertainment schedule is as follows:

  • 11 to 11:30 a.m., Big Foot High School Jazz Ensemble
  • 11:45 a.m. to 12:15 p.m., Elkhorn High School Jazz Band/Choir
  • 12:30 to 1 p.m., Westosha High School Central Swing Choir
  • 1:15 to 1:45 p.m., Elkhorn High School Jazz Band/Choir

Cynthia Simonsen, executive director, said VIP Services is “grateful for this mutually rewarding partnership with the Elkhorn Rotary Club to support the greater good throughout Walworth County. Stir It Up is on track to raise more than $100,000 since its inception in 2015, with proceeds going to local organizations.”

Simonsen said in addition to the “delicious food donated by area restaurants, the event also provides a venue to showcase our musically talented area high school students. Stir It Up truly brings the community together through fellowship to raise awareness and funds to make Walworth County a better place for all.”


Event details

Tickets for Stir It Up are $25, general admission; $5, kids 7 to 17 years old; $45, a couple; $55, a family (two adults and up to three youth); $50, preferred seating (reserved seating, table service and reserved parking.) They are available at Advia Credit Union, Elkhorn and Salem; Stinebrink’s Piggly Wiggly, Delavan and Lake Geneva; Elkhorn Area Chamber of Commerce; VIP Services, Inc. Tickets can also be purchased at

Participating restaurants include: Best Events catering, Brodie’s Beef, Crafted Americana at The Ridge, Evergreen Country Club, Fiddlesticks Bistro, The Geneva Inn, Geneva National Resort, Greenie’s Clubhouse, Hawk’s View Golf Club, Lake Geneva Pie Co., Lakeland Bakery, Lake Lawn Resort, Madison Street Subs, Next Door Pub, Sperino’s, Su Wings, The Trout House at Rushing Waters, and, Tuscan Tavern and Grill.


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