Kingston Residence sponsored their 6th Annual Taste of Waynedale on Tuesday, March 18th in a new location. Mount Calvary Lutheran Church on Reservation Drive proved to be the perfect setting for over 600 people to enjoy a variety of foods from 25 restaurants and businesses. The annual event again this year was held to benefit two great charities, Community Harvest Food Bank and the Waynedale Initiative Trails and Sidewalk projects slated for Waynedale.
"We elected to make the location change this year for a number of reasons", stated Camille Garrison, Marketing Director at Kingston Residence. "Besides needing more room to grow the event, we wanted to keep everything on one level. The availability of seating was important and increased parking was also an advantage." Scott Dunfee from Hill's Market agreed, "We liked the new venue, it allowed for a better flow of people, there was more open space and seating. It didn't seem as crowded as in the past."
It was a beautiful day outside and as you entered the Family Life Center, the aroma of the Coney sauce from The Stand permeated the air. Some of the other appealing dishes that had everyone buzzing included the tender lamb chops and artichoke dip from the Landmark Centre, sweet Arkansas Style Green Beans from Nine-Mile, unusual smoothies from Mike's Donuts, homemade jerky from Hill's, Crab Rangoon from China Palace and salads from Penguin Point. Other favorites included pizza from Pizza Hut, Nacho Grande from Bandido's, and chicken stir fry from Capt'n Rons. All complemented by smooth wines from Belmont Beverage.
There was a also a wide array of delectable desserts to choose from (providing you didn't give up sweets for Lent) including Big Boy's signature strawberry pie, blood orange Texas sheet cake from the Olive Twist, luscious lemon bars from Waynedale Bakery, Barb's handmade baklava from Spyro's, Dairy Queen's ice cream cake, Subway's chewy cookies and moist brownies from Walmart bakery.
Kingston welcomed four new vendors this year including Wings Etc., Culvers, Curly's Village Inn and Las Tres Hermanas Mexican restaurant. Store manager at Wings Etc. Damien Everett said, "I was really surprised by the huge turnout at the event. It was a great opportunity to talk with a lot of people and we got good feedback. We will definitely be there next year!"
Nine Mile was the back-to-back recipient of the "People's Choice" Vendor award. Second time winner Taverner Joe Strack said, "We at Nine Mile view Kingston's Taste of Waynedale as a great opportunity to showcase new menu items as well as to test some new ideas. We find the guests opinions to be very helpful."
The silent auction was also strongly supported with over $4,200 earned from this aspect of the event. "The businesses in and around greater Waynedale are so very generous" said Kingston Residence Executive Director Erin Floyd. "We had 65 items for people to bid on, including a huge stuffed pony from Wells Fargo, a beach package from Bolinger Dental, a Hearing Aid from TLC Hearing, lamps from Loggins Fireplace and Patio, a Samsung Tablet from 3 Rivers FCU, a Will Package from attorney Jim Springer plus numerous beautiful gift baskets from hair salons, golf packages, gardening and floral items and auto care certificates. The variety and sheer number of items donated was amazing," stated Floyd.
As a result, this year's event was the most successful, bringing in proceeds of $10,500 which will be split between two local charities. Community Harvest Food Bank Director Jane Avery stated, "Once again, Kingston Residence, along with the restaurants and food vendors in the Waynedale area, have shown their commitment to and support of not only their neighbors but also to tens of hundreds of people they do not even know. This donation of $5,250 will be used to help the pantries, soup kitchens and programs that serve the Waynedale area. Community Harvest Food Bank is honored to have the continuing and growing support of Kingston's Taste of Waynedale."
The other half of the proceeds will be deposited into the Waynedale Initiative account at Midwest America. This account was created for the development of Trails and Sidewalks specifically for Waynedale. Our goal for creating a safe pedestrian crossing over the Lower Huntington Bridge tying into the St. Mary's Pathway has been realized. Work should be completed on this project by the end of 2014. Overall, the combined total amount donated from all six Tastes of Waynedale equals an amazing $48,600.
"We are so blessed to also have the support of our in-kind sponsors such as JW Signs who provided free signage and both Hair Affair and Curves Waynedale who sold tickets for the event, along with Tim Didier Meats for providing a refrigerated truck for supplies and Waynedale News. And a huge thank you goes out to Mount Calvary for allowing us to move the event there. We've partnered together for the annual Kingston Dinner dance for many years so this was a natural transition" stated Garrison.
Ellison Bakery also provided cookies to enjoy later as people left. All the comments shared about this year's Kingston Taste of Waynedale were extremely positive, many people remarked how it was like a reunion visiting with friends and neighbors. Local resident Donna Peebles said, "I enjoyed every minute of it!" Be sure and mark your calendar for the next Kingston's Taste of Waynedale, March 24, 2015.