By Brigitte Petras
YSUscape, a Youngstown State University student organization, will be hosting their second fundraising event called the “Taste of Youngstown” on May 2 from 5-9 p.m.
Local eateries including V2, Martini Brothers, One Hot Cookie, Friends, Suzie’s Dogs and Drafts and the MVR will be sponsoring the event with their food.
Along with food vendors, there will also be a gift raffle with varying baskets, such as Gia Russa baskets and signed athletic gear.
The event will take place at the Erie Terminal in downtown Youngstown and is open to the public for $10, while students get in for $5.
Their first project, the Elm and Madison mural, was financially supported by their first “Taste of Youngstown” in July 2014.
Gianna Marinucci, secretary of YSUscape, reminisced of their first experience organizing the mural project.
“We realized how much funding it takes to make a mural. The paint, supplies, all that,” Marinucci said.
Anthony Marchionda, the marketing leader of the student organization, emphasized that there may be even more vendors sponsoring the event, but are unconfirmed. This year, the money will go toward several potential projects rather than one.
“This is funding that [YSUscape] can [use to] get supplies for workdays and … beautify the campus area and make it look more presentable,” Marchionda said. “Maybe other murals, maybe we’ll create a green space at YSU or downtown. It’s not just focused on one project.”
The YSUscape officers elaborated on why the organization chose to have their fundraising event downtown with local vendors.
“It’s good to show YSU students and even faculty members that there’s stuff going on downtown,” Marchionda said. “It’s quarter mile away from you.”
The officers of YSUscape also will be adding onto their Elm and Madison mural with the help of this event. Four penguin-shaped boards will be posted on the existing mural with signatures and logos of students and organizations.
“We’re giving student organizations the opportunity to have their logo on one of our eight-foot penguins on our spotlight mural — it’s called Our Spotlight Penguins,” Marchionda said.
The event will also include more vendors than last year.
“Those local vendors, they want to be more involved with the university, so when they have groups reaching out to them, they are more than willing to help out,” Marinucci said.
Joe Cassese, the owner of MVR, will be sponsoring the event for a second time.
“[MVR] is a Youngstown-based business and community-based here on the campus of YSU so we see an organization like YSUscape, which is helping to beautify campus and Youngstown, is something that we would try to be a part of,” Cassese said. “We do have a lot of students that are down here spending their money and we appreciate it. There is always something good that [the students] are doing, and if it also helps the city, then why not help?”