Taste of the Nation raises $20,000 to fight childhood hunger -- and honors Tyler Wiard

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Share Our Strength's Taste of the Nation, a national nonprofit that raises funds to fight hunger on local, national and international levels, celebrated its 26th year with a fundraiser last night at McNichols Civic Center Building, raising nearly $20,000 to benefit Share Our Strength's No Kid Hungry campaign, a statewide, public-private initiative of Hunger Free Colorado.

See also: Chef Matt Selby wins first Noel Cunningham award for his commitment to end child hunger in Colorado

Forty local restaurants, along with several spirited bartenders and wine representatives participated in the event, which also honored Tyler Wiard, executive chef of Elway's Cherry Creek, granting him the Noel Cunningham award, which is given to a local chef who does his or her part to eradicate childhood hunger and poverty in Colorado. "When I met Tyler, he said if there was anything he could do -- anything at all -- to help end childhood hunger, just let him know and he would do it," says Summer Gathercole, the Colorado State Director of Share Our Strength. "In the last year, Tyler's donated his expertise, his time and his talent to make our events a success; he introduced us to other members of the chef community and brought them in to work with us; he penned an op-ed piece that was in the Denver Post; and he's been a tireless advocate for the No Kid Hungry campaign, and we're grateful to him," she adds.

We attended the benefit last night, capturing all the revelry in our Taste of the Nation slide show, but here's a short photo teaser of the night's highlights.

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