A smokin' hot event

Barbecue caterers to prepare Hot Smoked Salmon Mousse for annual benefit

Barbecue caterers to prepare Hot Smoked Salmon Mousse for annual benefit

July 26, 2006|by JULIE E. GREENE

Kathy and Jay Reeder say they decided to help out with this year's Taste of the Town & Benefit Auction to raise money for REACH because it's a good cause and for good karma, the Clear Spring couple says.

Owners of a catering service and Hempen Hill BBQ Bar & Grill, the latter of which is expected to open at Fountainhead Plaza by September, the couple are preparing hot smoked salmon mousse, pit-barbecued baby back ribs, pulled pork and sweet tea for the event Sunday at the Clarion Hotel and Conference Center at Antietam Creek on Dual Highway.

The event is sold out.

The couple have been hosting big parties at their home for years and, getting pretty good at it, decided to try it professionally, Kathy Reeder says.

The career change occurred after a turning point in their lives - the summer of 2004 when Jay Reeder lost both his parents to cancer and Kathy Reeder lost her job as Phoenix Color was downsizing.


Kathy Reeder says it might be clich, but the couple was thinking life is short and wondering what they really wanted to do.

"Barbecue," answered her husband, who was a plumber.

"It's the age-old story of pursuing your dreams and making them a reality," she says.

The couple says they will continue catering even after the restaurant opens and also will barbecue at the Western Maryland Blues Fest.

Hempen Hill BBQ Bar & Grill is one of several new restaurants and newcomers to prepare food for the Taste of the Town fundraiser, says Terri Baker, REACH's executive director. REACH stands for Religious Effort to Assist and Care for the Homeless.

Baker says 27 restaurants, caterers and other businesses will prepare food for this year's event, compared with 17 last year.

They include 43 South Ristorante, LJ's & The Kat Lounge, Marcel's Catering Service, Bones & Cones Dessertery, The Bavarian Inn, Casey's Bar & Grill, Cancun Cantina and Barefoot Bernie's, and Tauraso's Ristorante & Trattoria.

Baker hopes the event raises $30,000, about the same as last year's fundraiser. About 600 people are expected; 550 attended last year.

The money will benefit REACH programs. More than 900 REACH volunteers work about 23,000 hours each year to help the homeless, chronically ill, disabled, frail and poor of all ages through 24-hour crisis intervention, the Cold Weather Shelter for the Homeless, the Day Resource Center and Faith in Action Caregiving.

This is the second year Taste of the Town has been a fundraiser for nonprofit REACH. For 20 years, the event benefited Hospice of Washington County Inc.

More than 100 items will be auctioned, including a grill and Amish homemade wooden picnic table donated by Citicorp employees, bread for a year from Panera Bread and a Fun in the City basket from the City of Hagerstown that includes tickets for next year's Blues Fest, Baker says.

Other items include golf packages and services such as lawn care, massages and tax preparation.

A Heart of Paris sterling silver pendant and chain from Christian Caine Jewelers in Shepherdstown, W.Va., will be auctioned with proceeds to go toward an endowment campaign to raise $212,500 by the end of 2010 so the Waltersdorf/Henson Endowment Challenge Campaign will match the funds to help REACH programs, Baker says.

Participants will be entertained by singer and guitarist Candy Craig and magician Jason Hade.

People who couldn't get tickets this year can contact REACH at 301-733-2371 or e-mail to get on the mailing list and be notified about ticket sales for next year's Taste of the Town.

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