Beneficary changes

but 'taste' is the same

September 07, 2005|by JULIE E. GREENE

The Taste of the Town's baton has been passed from Hospice of Washington County Inc. to REACH.

While the beneficiary has changed, there still will be a variety of yummy cuisine to sample while helping a good cause.

The Taste of the Town and Benefit Auction is at 5 p.m. Sunday in the grand ballroom at the Clarion Hotel and Conference Center at Antietam Creek on Dual Highway.

Fountain Head Country Club, Dimensions, Burhans Station, Hickory Corner, Square Cup, Ryan's, Maugansville Creamery, Port City Java, Red Lobster and Good Humor-Breyer's Ice Cream Inc. were among the restaurants, caterers and businesses scheduled to provide food, though some changes could occur, says Brent Houck, managing partner with Three Marketiers in Hagerstown and coordinator for Taste of the Town.


In addition to the appetizers, beverages, entrees and desserts, there will be a silent auction and live auction, says Terri Baker, executive director for REACH, Religious Effort to Assist and Care for the Homeless.

More than 120 items will be auctioned, including tickets to a University of Maryland Terrapins football game, a rafting trip, antiques, gift certificates for various services and about 30 theme baskets, Baker says. Citicorp Credit Services north of Hagerstown donated 23 of the baskets.

Baker says she hopes the event will raise $25,000 to help REACH's three volunteer outreach programs.

REACH has a cold-weather shelter that will open Oct. 30 at its new permanent home, 140 W. Franklin St., Suite 300, Baker says. Local congregations will continue to rotate hosting and running the shelter.

The 24-hour crisis intervention program helps people with eviction prevention, food, medication needs and emergency motel placements when the shelter is full.

The group's third program is Faith in Action Caregiving, in which volunteers help senior citizens and disabled people travel to doctors, pharmacies or the grocery store; and deal with cleaning and light home repair.

Last year, Taste of the Town raised about $30,000 for Hospice to offset bereavement care that wasn't reimbursed and to help patients without insurance, says Susan Taylor, Hospice's executive director.

After having Taste of the Town as its signature fundraising event for 20 years, hospice officials decided not to host the event this year, Taylor says.

Particularly with Hospice's 25th anniversary, Hospice is focusing on more education and community outreach, she says.

The money the event would have raised for Hospice is made up for by the increase in clientele, which increased from 49 people in August 2004 to about 105 last week, Taylor says.

Some Hospice board members and volunteers suggested REACH could use a signature fundraising event and the move was made, Baker says.

"It's exciting because it was so successful for them for so many years," Baker says. "It's just a great event."

If you go ...

WHAT: Taste of the Town and Benefit Auction, a fundraiser for REACH

WHEN: 5 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 11

WHERE: Clarion Hotel and Conference Center at Antie-tam Creek's grand ballroom, 901 Dual Highway, Hagerstown

COST: Tickets are $35 per person or $350 for a table of 10

MORE: For tickets, call 301-733-2371.

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