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REACH out and Taste it

About 650 expected to attend annual Taste of the Town & Benefit Auction Fundraiser

About 650 expected to attend annual Taste of the Town & Benefit Auction Fundraiser

October 03, 2007|By JULIE E. GREENE

Leiters' Fine Catering has helped out with the Taste of the Town & Benefit Auction fundraiser for so long, Teri Leiter can't recall exactly when the family company first pitched in.

But she does remember why the family first got involved and why they stayed with the popular fundraiser when, three years ago, it switched benefactors from Hospice of Washington County to REACH.

Leiter knew about hospice and became more familiar when the "awesome organization" helped her father, Richard Downing, when he was dying from cancer, she says.

Leiter and her family also think highly of REACH, which stands for Religious Effort to Assist and Care for the Homeless. The Leiters have helped REACH with Taste of the Town and with other donations.

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Last year's Taste of the Town raised about $33,000 for REACH's volunteer outreach programs, says Terri Baker, REACH's executive director. These REACH programs 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.

About 650 people are expected at this Sunday's sold-out event, Baker says. At the dinner, approximately 235 items will be sold through live and silent auctions.

Both the number of attendees and the number of items donated for the auction are the highest Taste of the Town has had, Baker says. She credited volunteers for their hard work supporting the event. This year's fundraiser also has a larger venue, Hagerstown Community College's Athletic, Recreation and Community Center.

Twenty-four restaurants and caterers are expected to prepare dishes for tastings.

New food providers to the event are Burhans Station Food & Spirits, Duffy's on Potomac, Durango Restaurant and Gandolfo's New York Deli, Baker says.

Leiters' Fine Catering will be serving Crab Bisque in bread bowls, a recipe created by Chef Brandon Coldsmith and Leiter's husband, Dave, who is president and co-owner of the business with Teri.

In addition to food such as Leiters' Crab Bisque, Taste of the Town has live and silent auctions.

Baker says items to be auctioned live include a dinner for six prepared by the Islamic Society of Western Maryland, a dinner for six prepared by Congregation B'nai Abraham, Washington Redskins tickets, a one-week stay at a condo at Ocean City, Md., a yacht trip from Annapolis to St. Michaels, Md., including lunch for two at The Crab Claw Restaurant, and a City of Hagerstown-themed basket that includes tickets to the 2008 Western Maryland Blues Fest.

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

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