The fundraiser is responsible for about 10% of Glendale Healthy Kids' annual $400,000 budget, with the rest supplemented mostly by state and local grants, Executive Director Camille Levee said.
"We're really making a concerted effort this year to let people know that it is supporting a worthwhile cause," she said.
The nonprofit coordinates medical, dental, vision and mental health care services with local providers and the Glendale Unified School District for children who do not have health insurance.
Last year, more than 3,000 children in the greater Glendale area received free health care either directly through the group's volunteers or through its network of healthcare providers, who provide about $200,000 in donated services every year, she said.
The organization also sponsors public education programs in local schools.
This year, more than 20 downtown restaurants will provide menu samples to people donning the event's wristband from 5:30 to 8 p.m. But while the $25 ticket price goes a long way in helping to fund the nonprofit's health programs, organizers said they also see the event as a means toward greater name recognition and public awareness of their services.
"We want people to support us financially, but we also use it as a vehicle to let people know about what we do," said Kathleen Powers, incoming board president for Glendale Healthy Kids.
It's a sentiment not lost on restaurateurs, who not only agree with the cause, but who also hope to entice new patrons with their samples.
"It's a good opportunity to get to know the restaurant," said Blanca Salazar, whose restaurant, Don Cuco, will take part in the event. "Of course, the Glendale Healthy Kids is the No. 1 reason."
Other restaurants participating in this year's event include Damon's Glendale Steakhouse, Milano's Italian Kitchen, Porto's Bakery, San Sai Japanese Grill, California Pizza Kitchen, Carousel Restaurant, El Morfi Grill, Sandbag's Gourmet Sandwiches, Olive Garden and Sushi Tako, among others.