Fridley TRIP gala to feature the Taste of Fridley

For the past 20 years, one teachers passion for our nations history has sent 7th and 8th grade students from Fridley Middle School on a tour of the east coast.

Students visiting the Statue of Liberty during the 2015 East Coast Trip. (Photo provided by Todd Reiland)
Students visiting the Statue of Liberty during the 2015 East Coast Trip. (Photo provided by Todd Reiland)

The “East Coast Trip,” which takes place every two years, was launched by Fridley Middle School teacher Todd Reiland and explores Washington D.C., New York City and Gettysburg.

The trip serves as an opportunity for students to explore their political interests and learn more about the history of the United States.

“It is a really great opportunity for the students to learn,” said Taste of Fridley Coordinator and TRIP Board Member Tarole Rettke. “The kids have also been a big part of putting this gala together. It is really a learning experience.”

This year, the trip will cost each family approximately $1,600 per child. Because many students are priced out of attendance due to high cost, a fundraising gala featuring the Taste of Fridley will take place at the Springbrook Nature Center on March 10 at 6 p.m.

The first annual gala is a non-partisan political event featuring leaders from both the Democratic and Republican parties. Attendees will have the opportunity to mingle with local television personalities, city council members, school board members, and several mayors and state legislators.

“There will be quite a few elected officials at the gala,” said Rettke. “It will give the students the opportunity to talk with their representatives up close to ask questions.”

The gala will also serve a hub for politicians to show a vested interest in student learning.

Local vendors including Bob’s Produce, Key’s Cafe, Chipotle, Red Savvoy Pizza, Nothing Bundt Cakes, Sociable Cider Works, Indeed Brewery, 612 Brew and more will be serving complementary appetizers and beverages.

During the event, Fridley sophomore Carter Rettke will be performing to the stylings of Frank Sinatra and Brandon Thompson.

For those feeling lucky, a live auction will give attendees the opportunity to win high value items including hotel rooms, gift cards and photo shoots.

Tickets cost $20/person in advance, or $25/person at the door. Student tickets available with Student ID for $10 and children 5 and under are free. All food and beverages are included in ticket price.

For more information or to purchase tickets, visit

Springbrook Nature Center is located at 100 85th Avenue NW in Fridley.

Contact Sam Lenhart at [email protected]