The Phoenix Reporter and Item (

Taste of Phoenixville attracts new guests, shares stories of success

By Virginia Lindak, For 21st Century Media

Friday, January 17, 2014

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 shelter’s 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.

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

“It’s 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 Justin’s and really feel good about supporting the Good Samaritan Shelter and what electively we are able to do in the community,” said Hoffer. “It’s important to us; it’s our largest fundraiser for the year. There wouldn’t be stories like Justin’s if we didn’t have people coming out to the Taste of Phoenixville. It’s 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. There’s a lot of new people here, which is great,” Hoffer noted.

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

“I think it’s wonderful. A lot of new people are here that are amazed at the event itself. I think they’ll come back again next year. It’s a wonderful event because it’s a major fundraiser for the shelter,” said Giardina.

Molly Maguire’s 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 it’s 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. I’m very impressed with the variety of the food that is here. It is showcasing Phoenixville for what it is. There’s a lot of good restaurants here,” remarked Mannion.