Taste of Phoenixville attracts new guests, shares stories of success

Justin Crowell, a former Good Samaritan Shelter resident and "success story," speaks to the crowd about his time at the shelter with volunteer Hilary Zee, who took Crowell into her home after his time at the shelter as a non-official adopted son. Photo by Virginia Lindak
The HythaFam Band performed throughout the evening. Photo by Virginia Lindak

Thursday night, Good Samaritan Shelter of Phoenixville hosted its annual Taste of Phoenixville charity event at Phoenixville Foundry. Members of the community enjoyed an evening of delicious food, drink, live music and dancing while supporting a good cause. Proceeds from the event went toward supporting the shelter.

This year, 27 restaurants participated in the event and attendees were able to circulate around to each food booth and sample the different dishes. The HythaFam band performed music throughout the evening. There was also a silent auction with 95 items up for bid, all of which were donated. Among auction items were Flyers tickets, jewelry, wine and gift baskets, a Coach purse, as well as signed sports memorabilia and more.

In attendance this year was Justin Crowell, a former Good Samaritan Shelter resident. Crowell is one of the shelters many success stories. Crowell spoke to the crowd about how his time at the shelter helped to get him on his feet. After his time there, he joined the army, and is now enrolled at Montgomery County Community College seeking a Communications degree.

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Crowell joined the shelter for four months in 2010 when he was 19 years old.

Its a foundation. I had to work my way up and I had good resources [there]. They really supported us [residents], said Crowell.

Good Samaritan Shelter executive director Nate Hoffer said the evening was a celebration.

Hopefully people can come and hear a story like Justins and really feel good about supporting the Good Samaritan Shelter and what electively we are able to do in the community, said Hoffer. Its important to us; its our largest fundraiser for the year. There wouldnt be stories like Justins if we didnt have people coming out to the Taste of Phoenixville. Its really that simple.

Hoffer said he was pleased to be able to thank members of the community for supporting the shelter.

It really is a joy thanking people. I really do appreciate being able to thank people for helping us. I appreciate them being here and supporting the shelter. It means a lot to me. Theres a lot of new people here, which is great, Hoffer noted.

Andrea Giardina, a member of the shelters Benefit Committee, said the event brought many new guests this year.

I think its wonderful. A lot of new people are here that are amazed at the event itself. I think theyll come back again next year. Its a wonderful event because its a major fundraiser for the shelter, said Giardina.

Molly Maguires was one of the participating restaurants this year. Owner Declan Mannion said they have been involved with The Taste since they came to Phoenixville seven years ago. Declan said its a good event because of the community involvement.

It involves the community (and) everything about the community is what an Irish pub is all about. Im very impressed with the variety of the food that is here. It is showcasing Phoenixville for what it is. Theres a lot of good restaurants here, remarked Mannion.