story and photos by Lauren Leatherby, special to The City Wire
FAYETTEVILLE — On the first Tuesday in September for 10 years now, Savor the Flavor ticket holders have been getting the best of what Dickson Street and downtown restaurants have to offer. This year’s affair offered food from 15 restaurants, all worthy of a sit-down meal.
More than 650 people joined the fun for Faith in Action’s yearly fundraising event, bringing in more than $68,000 for the organization. For each $40 ticket, participants could enjoy shrimp gumbo at Hog Haus, braised duck quesadillas at Theo’s, drinks at Smoke and Barrel Tavern, and everything in between.
Faith in Action is a community outreach program that aids area elderly and disabled. Volunteers assist the seniors with chores, getting groceries, light home maintenance and cleaning. They also make friendly visits to the homebound and sometimes transport clients to medical visits.
The group has come a long way since it was founded in 1996. In 2011, 137 Faith in Action volunteers spent more than 4,007 hours on behalf of 133 clients.
“Faith in Action allows seniors to remain in their homes longer,” said Linda Ericksen, Faith in Action’s volunteer coordinator for Washington County. “With volunteers helping them run errands and just stopping by for friendly visits, they can remain independent longer.”
Attendees loved Faith in Action’s first Savor the Flavor fundraiser a decade ago, and a few like Kathryn Hunt and Walter Miller come back year after year.
“It was very successful because it brought a lot of awareness,” said Nancy Galbraith, Faith in Action’s volunteer coordinator for Benton County.
Savor the Flavor is so successful, in fact, that it now provides nearly 60% of Faith in Action’s annual operating budget.
After walking to the various restaurants and filling up on appetizers, samples of main courses and desserts, they returned to the Garden Room for Savor the Flavor’s after party. For those who hadn’t had their fill, a cake celebrating the event’s 10th anniversary was served.
Harps Foods Stores served as the presenting sponsor of the event. Other participating eateries were Big Momma’s Coffee and Espresso Bar, Powerhouse Seafood & Grill
Bordinos, Qdoba Mexican Grill, Common Grounds, Gourmet Espresso Bar, Rowdy Beaver, Emelia’s Kitchen, Smoke and Barrel Tavern, Hammontree’s, The Flying Burrito Co., Hog Haus Brewing Co., The Wine Cellar Wine Bar, Jose’s, Theo’s and U.S. Pizza Company.