Taste of Henry seeking vendors for annual fundraiser

By Jason A. Smith
Times Correspondent

A delicious fundraising tradition is once again on the horizon in Henry County.

The 16th annual Taste of Henry is set for April 21 from 6-9 p.m., at the Jason T. Harper Event Center at Heritage Park, 101 Lake Dow Road in McDonough.

Crowds gathered at last year’s Taste of Henry fundraiser. File photo

Admission is $20 for adults, $15 for seniors 60 and over, and $5 for children ages 3-12. Kids age 2 and under will get in free.

A long-standing tradition in Henry County, Taste of Henry is the signature benefit for A Friend’s House, a local nonprofit shelter for neglected, abused and abandoned children. Nan Jenkins, director of development for the shelter, said a number of vendors have already pledged to participate in the event.

“We already have about 10 signed up,” she said. “We have everything from BBQ to hamburgers all the way to frozen yogurt, shaved ice and all kinds of desserts. It’s just a little bit of everything. Last year we had about 37 different food vendors. All of our first-place winners from last year have signed up to do it again.”

Jenkins said Taste of Henry has gained a positive reputation over the years, and that people enjoy coming to it every year. She added that the occasion is an essential element in keeping A Friend’s House up and running throughout the year.

“We’re a 24-bed capacity shelter,” said Jenkins. “Last year, we housed 93 children for 5,900 nights, cumulative. We have to raise 46 percent of the funds ourselves to keep operating, so this is one of the ways that we do that. Last year, we raised about $28,000. It was one of our biggest years.”

Approximately 1,500 people attended Taste of Henry last year. Jenkins said she is hoping for another successful year with the fundraiser, as long as the weather holds out.

“We’re very weather-dependent,” she explained. “The better the weather, the better the event. We do it rain or shine, but people like to get out in better weather.” She said in addition to a variety of food choices, the family-friendly event will also offer activities for children in attendance.

Piedmont Henry Hospital is the presenting sponsor for this year’s Taste of Henry. Organizers for the event are partnering with the Henry County Convention and Visitors Bureau, as well as McDonough Hospitality and Tourism, the Henry Arts Alliance and the Main Street Stockbridge program.

The first 500 patrons through the gates at Taste of Henry will receive free Very Important Taster treat bags filled with items from participating restaurants, vendors, and sponsors. Limit one bag per family.

Taste of Henry will also feature music by David Ellis and Melissa Callender. Tickets that are redeemed for wristbands include tastes from each vendor as well as special items from sponsors and partners at the event. There is no additional cost other than the entrance fee.

Adult tickets will also be available, online only, for $15 from March 1-15 through www.event brite.com. Tickets can be purchased afterward at all Henry County Moye’s Pharmacy locations, the Henry County Chamber of Commerce, the McDonough Welcome Center, at A Friend’s House, or at the door the day of the event.

For more information, call Nan Jenkins 678-521-7268 or 678-432-1630, or e-mail tasteofhenry@yahoo.com.