Taste of Italy Event a Success!

Nearly 200 community leaders, family and supporters of the Merze Tate Explorers came out for great Italian food and opera music in their Taste of Italy fundraising dinner at the Ladies’ Library Association on June 1, 2017.

Soprano Rhea Olivacce poses with girls of the Merze Tate Explorers at the historic Ladies’ Library Association in Kalamazoo, MI after an amazing fundraising concert!

Thanks to the generous donations of food from Monelli’s Italian Eatery, the donation of the building by the historic Ladies’ Library, and the phenomenally-angelic sounds of soprano Rhea Olivacce, the audience and students were inspired. The students of the Merze Tate Explorers who will participate in the study abroad to Europe this summer were excited about the support and the gifts of money and other items that were presented to them.

“The old saying that, ‘It takes a village to raise a child,’ is so true. Without the support of those in the community who have given gifts from $25 to $15,000, we could not do what we do to help girls Explore the Possibilities in life,” said Sonya Bernard-Hollins, founder of the Explorers.

The audience listens as students share of their upcoming European study abroad.








Study abroad students share of their excitement and thanks supporters.








Guests make new friends over dessert after the concert.
Girls help serve guests with the help of the women of the Ladies’ Library Association.













Michelle Mueller presents Shi’Terriona with fun gifts for Europe.