top of page

Carmel Education Foundation

Formed in 1966, the mission of CEF is to support Carmel Clay students in academic achievement and lifelong learning. We do this by raising funds to support innovation in classrooms, to foster safe and positive learning experiences for all students, and to provide scholarships for lifelong learning. 


Carmel Education Foundation is a 501c3 non-profit organization, with a board of directors representing diverse backgrounds and experiences, but all focused on providing resources and opportunities for students in our schools.


Learn more about our programs, meet our board of directors, and see our work in action here.

Carmel Education Foundation logo.png

Taste of Carmel Planning Team


Taste of Carmel is planned by a group of community volunteers, some of whom serve on the Carmel Education Foundation board of directors, some of whom have planned Taste of Carmel for years, and some who have joined for the first time.  Together, their ideas and work make this a premier Carmel event.

History & Tradition

From Orchard Park Elementary to Carmel Education Foundation

Taste of Carmel (TOC) began in 2005 as a Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) fundraiser for Orchard Park Elementary (OPE), a public school in Carmel, Indiana.  Originally designed as an event for OPE families, the event soon became a popular "can't miss" night out for many Carmel Clay Schools parents. By 2014, TOC had become the largest indoor food experience in Hamilton County.  Annually, more than 1,000 guests from Carmel and surrounding areas attend to enjoy an array of food and drink while visiting with friends or entertaining clients.


When Orchard Park closed in 2021, Carmel Education Foundation (CEF), the non-profit funding partner of Carmel Clay Schools, was honored to adopt this event as an opportunity to expand the impact to benefit 16,000+ students in all 15 Carmel Clay schools. Though the branding has been updated, many traditions have been carried on including the First Taste VIP Party which features an exclusive chef and handcrafted libations and a signature gift.  The main event includes entertainment, a one of a kind raffle, and an upscale auction, and some unique twist each year. This fundraiser is an amazing deal for guests with ticket prices that include appetizers, main courses, amazing sides, and delectable desserts, as well as a wide mix of drinks for every palette, it is more affordable than going out for dinner.

In 2023, Taste of Carmel was moved to a Friday night and the inaugural Last Taste After Party was launched. Additionally, the support of local businesses has increased significantly, and  proceeds from this event has enabled the foundation to launch new district wide programs, create a student-led grant program, and extend our reach within the school district and the Carmel community. 

bottom of page