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Taste of the Town Brings Together Great Local Food and a Great Cause

by on November 13, 2018 5:00 AM

Centre County United Way hosts its annual Taste of the Town event from 5 to 8 p.m. on Sunday at the Penn Stater. According to special events coordinator Beth Shaha, the event is the organization’s premier fundraiser and an opportunity “for folks to enjoy treats, eats, drinks and all kinds of things [from] Happy Valley.”

The casual dining event features an array of food and drink vendors from around the area, serving up samples of their fare to tables of hungry diners, all for a good cause. A few individual tickets remain for sale.

“This year we have 34 restaurants and some breweries and some wineries… People can come and try a little bit of the delicacies that we have right here in Happy Valley,” says Shaha. “In addition to the great food, there’s also a really great silent auction and a live auction, both of which [have] a lot of things folks might want to pick up for the holidays or for themselves. We’ve gotten so many awesome things donated…”

Last year’s Taste of the Town event featured 34 vendors as well, but this year’s lineup includes a few new faces. Shaha says Shy Bear Brewing from Lewistown, The Cakery in Bellefonte and Duck Donuts in downtown State College are all new to the event, as is a long-time local favorite, Happy Valley Winery.

Also new this year, the live auction includes two Christmas trees decorated by Northwest Bank and Women’s Welcome Club. A wreath auction, with items donated by local florists and designers, features an array of wreaths “on display, which people can bid on and take home that evening [to] start the holidays off right,” Shaha adds.

Other auction items include jewelry, trips with overnight stays in New York City and Pittsburgh, a full box experience at a Lady Lions basketball game and certificates for a host of local businesses, from fitness centers to car washes. As Shaha notes, it’s easy to find a gift for yourself or for someone else for the upcoming holidays.

It’s certainly one instance where you can feel good about your shopping. The event is a signature fundraiser for Centre County United Way and the funds help support the organization’s work throughout the year.

“What we strive to do at United Way is help people in our community with access to education, financial stability and good health,” Shaha explains. “We want them to succeed in education, maintain or recover financial stability and maintain and recover good health…We work with agencies that we fund that are able to do those things in our community. It’s through events like this that we raise the money so they can do amazing work in our community.

“There are so many amazing things in the community as far as places to eat and it’s always fun to be in one place where you can try everything. [The event is] a win for your belly, a win for the fun you’ll have and obviously a win for our community.”

Holly Riddle is a freelance food, lifestyle and entertainment writer. She can be reached at [email protected]
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