A group of citizens working to improve the quality of life in one Central New York city is asking residents to dinner.

Youtica EATS, which stands for "Encouraging Action Through Service," is pulling a page from the menus of similar events held throughout the country designed to fund community projects.

Proprietor and Chef Tim Hardiman of The Tailor and the Cook will craft a meal, which will be prepared using locally-sourced items.  The meal will then be served to a group of about 150 people.


During dinner, presentations will be made by members of the community who will each have five minutes to present an idea to the group.  At the end of the dinner the group of diners will vote anonymously on which projects should be funded.  The money raised from tickets sales and sponsors will then be granted to seed the winning project proposals.

Although some may cringe at the suggestion, it is akin to a reality show where, instead of singing for their supper and a chance at a record contract, presenters are talking their way to cash that could enable them to help make the community better.

Event organizer Ryan Miller is encouraging those who have ideas but are in need of "...an injection of awareness, funding, and enthusiasm" to reach out to the group online at: http://youtica.org/youticaeats/  prior to September 8, 2014.

Photo Credit: Kristine Bellino, WIBX / Townsquare Media

The event is scheduled to take place from 5:00pm to 7:30pm at the Dorothy Smith Center for Advocacy at the Resource Center for Independent Living (RCIL) in Utica on Sunday, October 5, 2014.

The group says tickets will be available on a first-come, first-served basis beginning on September 22nd. More details and pricing will be released closer to that date.