Event offers tasty way to help needy

First Posted: 1/15/2009

LUMBERTON - There aren't too many places where you assemble a waffle, penne pasta, a deluxe burger and a side order of smoked chicken wings on the same plate.
But you have that chance on Monday night (Feb. 28) during the sixth annual Taste of Robeson - and doing so will benefit a cause other than your appetite.
The event offers a smorgasbord of delectable dishes from restaurants while raising money for the Robeson Church and Community Center. The fund-raiser will run from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Southeastern Regional Agriculture Center/ Farmers Market.
Pat Lykins, the center's executive director, said organizers hope to raise $10,000. The event served up about $8,000 last year.
“Its a great event and a great little dinner,” Lykins said. “We'll have chicken, steak, pizza. There is a little bit of everything.”
Lykins said 10 restaurants - the most ever - are expected to provide food. They are: Bill’s Bar-B-Que; Black Water Grille; Central Park; CiCi’s Pizza; Cracker Barrel Old Country Store; Log Cabin caterers; Lumbee Chief Products; Smithfield's Chicken and Bar B Q; Village Station; and the Waffle House.
“We were glad to help out,” said Rob Redfearn, the co-owner of the Black Water Grille. “It is a chance to help a wonderful charity and to let people know we are here.”
Redfearn said his restaurant plans to offer samples from his sandwich menu and penne pasta with chicken.
Arnold West, manager of the Village Station, said he plans to serve up one the restaurant's signature dishes - Hawaiian Chicken. This is the second year that the Village Station has participated.
“It is always a fun event for us and for residents,” West said. “People consider the Village Station a Robeson County landmark and we want to give back and support the community that has supported us for so long.”
There will be a silent auction of art, collectibles, crafts, antiques, gift certificates and vacations.
Organizers also plan to raffle off a two-day beach get-away at the Forest Dunes Oceanfront Resort. The prize package includes an ocean view suite, four tickets to Ripley’s Aquarium and four tickets to the Alabama Theater. Raffle tickets are $5 and ticket holders do not have to be present to win.
The center was founded 36 years ago to help needy residents. With offices in Lumberton and Red Springs, the center provides emergency assistance with utility bills and rent; helps seniors with housing repairs; provides literacy classes; and operates a food pantry and a thrift store.
“For a few dollars people can come in and have some great food, bid on some fantastic prizes and help make their community a better place,” Lykins said.

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