By Johnny Jackson
Organizers anticipate a crowd of at least a thousand people to turn out for the 10th Annual Taste of Henry fund-raising event.
The event, scheduled to be held May 13, at the Jason T. Harper Event Center in McDonough, will benefit the local non-profit A Friend's House.
"We are so fortunate to have a community that supports our children in crisis at A Friend's House," said Nan Jenkins, the director of development for A Friend's House.
Twenty-nine area restaurants, caterers, and culinary entrepreneurs will be featured in this year's Taste of Henry showcase, according to Jenkins. She said the non-profit will receive 100 percent of the event's ticket sales.
The director said event patrons will have the opportunity to eat "taste-size" portions, from main courses, to appetizers, to desserts. Restaurants also will be competing to hold title to three coveted awards: "People's Choice," "Best Presentation," and "Best Sweets."
Jenkins said the list of participating restaurants includes Incredible Southern Poundcakes, CJ's Hotdogs, Tasteful Events, The Pampered Chef, Los Portales, Bliss, Chick-fil-A, Farmhouse Catering, OB's, Southern Belle Farm, Gezzo's, AJ's Turkey Grill, a collaboration effort from Jailhouse Brewery/Hayden Grove Farms/Crystal Lake, Divalicious Delights, Great American Grill, Doug's Mugs, Bruster's, Costco, Publix, and Simply Delicious Catering, as well as newcomers The French Market and BoJaynes.
"We are grateful to these restaurants," said Jenkins. "They don't make a single penny from this... they willingly donate their time, talent, and food out of the goodness of their heart."
The event is sponsored by local businesses which include the following: Rover, Inc.; Henry Medical Center; Fancy That Jewelry; The Accounting Firm; Fallas Family Vision; Henry County Rotary Club; ALPLA; Robinson, Whaley, Hammond & Allison, PC; United Community Bank; and Georgia Power.
"This is one of our major fund-raisers for the year," said Jill Holder, executive director of A Friend's House. "We have to raise, every year, approximately 40 percent of our budget for the year. And this goes a long way toward helping us make our budget for the year.
"It's a great event for the county, and it gives our restaurants a chance to present what they have," said Holder.
Holder said event organizers are still accepting potential vendors for the event, set to take place between 6 p.m., and 9 p.m.
The executive director said the first 500 people through the gate will receive gift bags.
"It's a good way to kick off the summer," said Holder. "People come and have a great time."
Tickets for Taste of Henry are available in advance at Moye's Pharmacy locations in Stockbridge, and McDonough; at Gezzo's in McDonough; at A Friend's House, located at 1110 Henry Parkway, in McDonough; or at the gate the day of the event, according to Jenkins.
Event sponsors get complimentary tickets. To learn how to become a sponsor, contact Jenkins at A Friend's House by calling (678) 432-1630. Find out more by visiting the Taste of Henry web site at www.tasteofhenry.org.