United Way gets set for 2007 Taste of Wayne County
By Anessa Myers
Published in News on July 22, 2007 2:00 AM
It won't be too much longer before the Wayne Community College campus becomes a restaurant -- and a community-wide effort to improve the lives of hundreds of county residents kicks off for another year.
The Taste of Wayne County, which officially launches the 2008 United Way campaign, is scheduled for Aug. 14 -- and organizers say there will be more to eat than ever.
From country cooking to Oriental cuisine, the array of food will be one of the largest in recent years, with more and more vendors signing up to participate, said Susan Keel, Taste of Wayne County chairwoman.
New this year to the restaurant lineup are Murphy's Place and Lane Tree Golf Course Grill.
Terry Alphin, part owner of Murphy's Place, can't wait.
"I have been involved with Taste with other restaurants before but never when it has been at Wayne Community College. I'm very excited to see how it plays out," she said. "I just think (Taste) touches so many people, and it's a good way to give back to the community."
Murphy's plans to have some of their specialties at the event.
"We are currently looking at shrimp and grits, hot wings and chili," she said.
The Lane Tree Golf Course Grill will enter its famous chicken salad, manager Vivian Langston said.
And for Taste of Wayne County veterans, the day is all about food -- and fun.
"I always enjoy the pizza and the Asian cuisine, but my favorite would have to be the ham biscuits," Mrs. Keel said.
For Mrs. Alphin, it's all about the end of the meal.
"I love desserts," she said. "All food really."
Some just can't decide.
"I really like them all," said Sally Worrell, vice president of marketing and communications for United Way of Wayne County. "We have some very faithful restaurants that have been with us for 15 years. If I say one is my favorite, I have to say them all."
Her company -- Wayco Hams -- is one of those faithful participants -- and the provider of Mrs. Keel's ham biscuits.
And for the Taste's major sponsors, Wayne Community College and Time Warner Cable, helping provide somewhere for families to enjoy an evening of good eating is overshadowed only by helping to promote the good work of the United Way.
Even so, Dr. Kay Albertson, president of WCC, is ready with her fork.
"I love ethnic and Mexican food," she said, "Nachos, tacos, anything with salsa, salt and spices."
Dr. Albertson's favorite restaurant at last year's event was Bonfire's Tortilla Bar.
The Taste will be held Aug. 14 at Wayne Community College, for the second year in a row, from 5 to 7:30 p.m. Last year was the first at the new location -- a move designed to allow more families and vendors the chance to be part of the kickoff.
"Last year, we had about 800 people who attended, and we are expecting to have 1,000 people attend this year," Mrs. Worrell said.
The vendors will be set up outside on the back side of campus, she added, and the area is completely shaded by trees so that people can dance and enjoy themselves in a slightly cooler place after they finish their tasting.
"It's a wonderful place to have the Taste, and the grounds are always in great condition," Mrs. Keel said.
Wayne Community College is "always happy to help out organizations in Wayne County, profit or non-profit" and has always been "a huge supporter of the United Way effort," Dr. Albertson said.
"I serve on the board and have done so for seven years," she said. "We are just very happy to be able to help the United Way and show off our campus at the same time."
In addition to WCC and Time Warner Cable, other major sponsors include Moffatt Oil; Haithcock, Barfield, Hulse and Kinsey; Mount Olive Pickle, Goldsboro Builders, Arnold Wilbery Corp., Cooper Standard; RA Jeffreys Distributing Co.; Hampton Inn/Holiday Inn; Turner Equipment; Mutual of America; AccuCopy; The Goldsboro News-Argus; and Wayne Realty.
There is still time for vendors to sign up to participate. The deadline is July 31.
Tickets must be purchased in advance and are $12. Children under the age of 6 are free. Tickets can be purchased at Wayne County Chamber of Commerce, Mount Olive Chamber of Commerce and Seymour Johnson Air Force Base Outdoor Recreation Center until 5 p.m., Monday, Aug. 13. No tickets will be sold the day of the event.
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