PHOENIXVILLE >> Good Samaritan Shelter hosted its annual Taste of Phoenixville event on Thursday night at Phoenixville Foundry in an effort to raise proceeds for the organization. The hugely popular event continues to grow each year, as hundreds of members of the community dined, danced and donated funds, all for a great cause.

Attendees sampled a large variety of dishes from dozens of participating restaurants, all of which donated their time and food for the tasty event. Food tables were set up on both levels of the Foundry and attendees could choose from a plethora of delectable appetizers, savory main dishes and gourmet, mouthwatering desserts.

Live music was performed by the HythaFam Band. In addition, numerous donated items were on display as part of a silent auction, with proceeds going to the shelter. Auction items included wine and gift baskets, sports memorabilia, artwork, ceramics and gift certificates from many local businesses.

“More than 20 years ago, I helped establish Safe Harbor in West Chester and over time I have watched with pride as community leaders in Phoenixville worked to establish and grow Good Samaritan Shelter into a successful organization that meets a vital need and provides crucial services to our most vulnerable neighbors,” said state Senator Andy Dinniman D-19th Dist., who also serves on the Senate Public Health and Welfare Committee.

“Tonight we thank the staff, volunteers and supporters for their hard work and ongoing efforts while renewing our commitment to the homeless in Chester County,” Dinniman added.

Nate Hoffer, executive director of the Good Samaritan Shelter said people enjoy coming to the Foundry building to celebrate.

“I’m thrilled with it. People have a good time. This is a foodie town, so this is the perfect event. All the restaurants donate all their staff and all the food. It’s incredible. Proceeds help us provide shelter and keep our operation going,” Hoffer remarked.

The Phoenixville Jaycees were among the many volunteers who helped host the event. Peter Urscheler, Jaycees president, said the group was also one of the event’s sponsors. He noted how Good Samaritan goes beyond providing shelter and aims to end the cycle of homelessness by providing skills to those who live there.

“The Phoenixville Jaycees feel it is such an important event because it is such a part of the fabric of our community,” said Urscheler. “Phoenixville is really a community that cares about people, especially those that are less fortunate, and making sure that they have a good, safe place to call home. It’s amazing for us to have the opportunity to party tonight with a purpose and to share that with so many people. It’s important because the shelter not only offers a safe location for people to go, but it also offers training and other opportunities to get great skills, to break that cycle of homelessness.”

Philadelphia resident and licensed clinical social worker, Jennifer Reeder, attended the Taste for the second year in a row. Reeder said she enjoyed the festive evening and remarked how the event is important, as it raises awareness on the issue of homelessness in the suburbs.

“It can happen to anyone regardless of your background and where you are in life. It can happen to anyone; children and families,” Reeder commented.

Royersford resident and former Dogwood Queen, Kathleen Tarlecki, was happy to attend the Taste and support the shelter.

“I’d rather spend some money here and know it is doing some good. If you are going to spend $100 on dinner, you might as well come here. It’s a nice event. It’s for such a good cause,” said Tarlecki.

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