It's a fund-raiser you can sink your teeth into

Tasty fund-raiser benefits Hospice of Washington County, area vendors and hungry participants

Tasty fund-raiser benefits Hospice of Washington County, area vendors and hungry participants

August 12, 2002|by MARLO BARNHART

HAGERSTOWN - Writing out a check for a worthwhile charity satisfies the spirit and the soul but not usually the palate. Hospice of Washington County has found a way to take care of all three with The Taste of the Town.

Last year the unique fund-raiser generated $32,000 when 686 people showed up at the Clarion Hotel and Conference Center on Dual Highway.

"We think we will exceed both of those figures this year," said Susan Taylor, executive director of Hospice. "More than 700 people are participating and enthusiastically enjoying themselves, again at the Clarion."


Easily the largest annual fund-raiser for Hospice, The Taste of the Town is in its 18th year.

"The whole thing began quite simply the first year and was held at St. Maria Goretti High School," Taylor said. "Every year it has grown and grown."

In her fourth year as executive director, Taylor said a key factor to the success of the project is the vendors.

"This year, all our vendors are veterans with The Taste of the Town," Taylor said. "We still go out and look for new vendors but the regular vendors all hope to be asked again."

Shellie Ralston of The Rhubarb House was one of those returning to The Taste of the Town.

"It's a great way to introduce our food and our restaurant to the community," Ralston said as she carried out a huge tray of sweet potato biscuit sandwiches with ham.

Other Rhubarb delicacies included marinated chicken and strawberries dipped in chocolate.

Other vendors included AC&T, Always Catering, Cajun Cookin', Cracker Barrel, Ground Round, Heather B's, Kerch's Ribs and Chicken, Leiter's Fine Catering, Martin's Catering, Red Lobster, Royal Crown, Schmankerl Stube, Superior Ice Cream, Texas Roadhouse and the Tortuga Restaurant.

Taylor said a survey sent out after last year's event showed that vendors overwhelmingly preferred Sunday for The Taste of the Town, traditionally a slow day for restaurants.

Darin Heintzelman of Chambersburg, Pa., said this was his first introduction to The Taste of the Town but he doesn't think it will be his last.

"So far, it's delicious. I'm trying everything," Heintzelman said. He added that he plans to thank the friend who told him about it.

Linda Golden of Greencastle, Pa., came last year and returned this year for a number of reasons.

"It's a different kind of evening," Golden said as she savored a seafood creole soup. "There's a little bit of everything and that's my fare."

Julie Heintzelman agreed with her husband, Darin, that the event was a pleaser.

"We are all trying new things and sharing what's good with each other," Julie Heintzelman said.

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