Take some time to ‘Taste the Sky’

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Barbecue at county airport replaces Dinner Over Diamond event this year

By Jennifer Garcia

Construction on Diamond Drive has put a monkey wrench in commuter’s schedules, as well as high school student’s schedules, but it’s also affected fundraising for the United Way, as well.
Every year around this time, the United Way Youth Team hosts dinner over Diamond, a fundraising event during which diners are served — and eat their dinner — in the catwalks suspended over Diamond Drive. The funds raised during the event go toward the United Way Activities Fund, which benefits nonprofit organizations in Los Alamos and Rio Arriba counties.
This year, instead of dining over Diamond, the United Way Youth Team brainstormed and came up with the idea of serving a barbecue dinner at the county airport, which they dubbed “Taste the Sky.” The event is sponsored by the Fabulous 50’s Diner and Los Alamos County.
 With the help of Lynn Ballew of the Fabulous 50s Diner, diners will eat at tables placed on the tarmac and will be treated to a menu that includes: brisket and chicken, potato salad, cole slaw, beans, iced tea, coffee and punch. For dessert, a variety of KaleidoScoops ice cream flavors will be offered. Tickets are $20 or adults and $15 for children. The event will be held from 4-7 p.m. Saturday at the county airport.
“Due to construction, there will be no dinner over Diamond,” said Justin Dunn, United Way Youth Team Project Manager. “There will be lots of aircraft out and barbecue food will be catered by the Fabulous 50s Diner.”
“Taste the Sky” is part of a series of fundraisers the United Way holds each year. Another project in the works again this year is hamburger night at the Hill Diner. United Way Finance Director Marie Marroquin said the group is currently working with Hill Diner owner Denise Lane, in an effort to organize the event, which will be held in November.
“We couldn’t have done this without Lynn Ballew or (county airport manager) Peter Soderquist,” Marroquin said. She also mentioned that United Way Youth Team mentor Morrie Pongratz has contributed a lot to the group’s efforts, as well.
Youth Team members Kayla Suazo, Erin Burr and Dunn have worked for about two months on organizing “Taste the Sky.” Suazo has put her efforts into marketing, by putting up flyers, posters and sending e-mails, while Dunn took charge of the project and has led the team in their efforts. Burr contributed to the project as well, by taking minutes at Youth Team meetings.
“We’re pleased that we got support from the county, Denise Lane and Lynn (Ballew),” Marroquin said.
Reservations for the event are preferred, but not required. Tickets may be purchased and reservations made by calling 662-0800.