Ira J. Gutner became a member of our community in 1994, when he relocated and opened his coffee and candy shop, Samuel’s of Rhinebeck. On April 4, 2014, at the young age of 57, Ira passed away. It broke the entire community’s heart to think of a Samuel’s with no Ira. The shop was more than just a stop on the Taste of Rhinebeck map. For the hospital and so many more in the community, Ira was a generous soul. He provided many donations of chocolate and candies to the hospital for fundraising campaigns and events, such as our annual appeal and the Starlight Ball. He would always say, “Just ask me for a donation, I can always say no.” He never said no. As a tribute to him, Taste attendees are invited to select the first recipient of the Ira Gutner Hospitality Award. The hope is you will vote on the most hospitable venue, where you were treated to the same kindheartedness and welcoming spirit Ira had bestowed upon us and all of his customers for two decades. Voting is available on the ballot cards that will be part of the registration packets.