By Johnny Jackson
The Ninth Annual Taste of Henry, to benefit A Friend's House, is set for Friday.
This year's fund-raiser will be held from 6 to 9 p.m., at the Jason T. Harper Event Center, at 95 Lake Dow Road in McDonough. With 26 sponsors, the event will feature 30 restaurants throughout Henry County.
Organizers hope to top last year's fund-raising efforts, which brought in just over $20,000. The year before, in 2008, the event raised about $30,000, said Nan Jenkins, director of development at A Friend's House, Henry County's emergency children's shelter.
"We would love to raise $25,000 to $30,000 this year," said Jenkins, adding that 100 percent of the event's proceeds will go to the shelter's general operations budget, which funds day-to-day needs.
"But there are always things that we need, in addition to the day-to-day needs, for our children," she said. "For instance, we need some water fountains for the children, and some new furniture."
Jenkins said having water fountains available for children would help the organization cut down on waste using and cleaning cups for the many children it houses who enjoy playing outside on summer days.
Jenkins noted that the shelter relies heavily on community volunteerism and year-round donations. Taste of Henry, however, is its largest fund-raising effort of the year.
"We hope to have 1,000 visitors this year," Jenkins said. "The first 500 visitors will receive VIP bags, which will include coupons from local businesses. And for the first time, we will have live music and activities for children."
The Pat Sowell Project, a local acoustic-rock band led by Patrick Sowell, will be the featured group.
Admission for the event will be $20 per person for adults ages 13 and older, and $15 per person for seniors ages 65 and older. Children ages 3 to 12 will be admitted for $5. Infants and toddlers up to age 3 will be admitted free.
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