Scrumptious food for worthy cause
Mena Parrish and her coworkers have taken part in the Taste of the Town fundraiser during the past several years, but it had more meaning Tuesday night.
Last fall, one of their beloved co-workers at J.H. Adams Inn succumbed to a long battle against cancer. Tina Walker, known as the “breakfast lady” to guests at the inn, went into remission for a period, said Parrish, the general manager of J.H. Adams. But the cancer came back with avengence, and Walker died on Oct. 31 at the age of 51.
“When the doctors at Duke University hospital said they couldn’t do anything more, Tina said she wanted to come home to High Point,” Parrish said.
Walker spent her last days at Hospice of the Piedmont, where she, her family and friends were treated with dignity and respect. On Tuesday, the J.H. Adams employees staffing their booth marked their first Taste of the Town since Walker died.
“It’s made it more personal — you experience it on a different level,” Parrish said.
Each summer, Taste of the Town draws thousands of people who want to sample food and drink from a host of area restaurants, caterers and beverage vendors. The 26th annual Taste of the Town drew its usual large crowd to the former J.C. Penney location at Oak Hollow Mall.
The entry fee for Taste of the Town and ticket sales for food and beverages benefit Hospice. Last year’s Taste of the Town — the largest annual fundraiser for Hospice — raised $120,000.
Kepley’s Barbecue has taken part in each Taste of the Town since the inaugural event.
“It raises money for a need in our community,” said Susan Burleson, co-owner of Kepley’s with her father, Bob Burleson. “We have customers who have attended Taste of the Town every year.”
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Hospice of the Piedmont provides care to terminally-ill patients and their families, regardless of ability to pay. Funds also help provide grief support to anyone in the community following a loss and a service called Kids Path for children coping with serious illness or loss. For more information about Hospice, check the website www.hospiceofthepiedmont.org