Some of the finest local restaurants and caterers will again be presenting a host of mini-entrees, hors d'oeuvres and desserts at the Columbia Station, 400 Bridge Street, Phoenixville, from 6:30 to 9 p.m.

According to Carole Frederick, committee member, an estimated total of 200 tickets have been sold for this event.

"We still have some tickets available," Frederick said. "We are at 200 right now and have room for 250. Tickets can be purchased in advance or they can be purchased prior to the event."

Frederick said she's excited that ticket sales have already surpassed the inaugural "A Taste of Phoenixville," which drew an estimated 200 people on a snowy evening last January.

"We were delighted at the outcome of last year's event," Frederick said. "We started planning early for this year. We don't have a particular target goal yet, but it appears we'll be bigger than last year."

Delectable delights from the likes of Robert Ryan's Columbia Station; Columbia Bar & Grille; The Sly Fox; The Epicurean Restaurant & Bar; Twin Bays; Rocco's Pizza; and The Bakery at Chester Springs will be made available to the public, said Frederick.

"We are again pleased to have such a wonderful variety of food donations for this event," she said. "These restaurants donate their food, time and effort and we couldn't do this without their fabulous support. We are pleased to announce that we have someone new this year. Ludwig's Oyster Bar will be doing a raw bar - which should be a wonderful attraction."

Phoenixville residents Greg and Linda Hytha will be providing musical entertainment throughout the evening.

The event will also include a silent auction, which will feature such items as gift certificates and a wide assortment of services and items, said Frederick.

"The auction was very popular during last year's event," she said. "We are working hard to come up with more unique and interesting items to be auctioned off."

Frederick said some of this year's auction items include a dinner for four at the Columbia Station; Sunday brunch for two at the Kimberton Inn; dinner for two with a bottle of wine at Twin Bays; a silk floral arrangement from Thinking Of You Floral Designs, Kimberton; a gift certificate and gift basket from Kimberton Whole Foods; autographed books donated from Phoenixville children's book authors Jerry and Eileen Spinelli; a painting from local artist Mary Styer Holton; four greens fees and golf carts from Pickering Valley Golf Club; six passes for two from Colonial Theatre; children's gift boxes from Cool Stuff; a three month membership to Slim And Tone; and many other items.

"We've gotten over 53 items, which is up from last year," said Frederick. "It is especially good to see a lot of local donations."

According to Frederick, The Good Samaritan Shelter opened its doors on June 1, 2002. However, the shelter plans to move to a larger facility in 2004.

"This shelter is the dream of Rev. William Washington, pastor of the New Beginning Church of God, Phoenixville," Frederick said. "As executive director of the shelter, Rev. Washington has been aware of a need for a men's shelter in our area, especially since the closest shelter for men is approximately 15 miles away. Once his dream became a reality, it was time to move on to a bigger facility. The new shelter is currently being worked on right now."

The new shelter will house 10-12 men, which will eclipse the current shelter which houses up to five men, said Frederick.

"The mission of the shelter is to provide temporary housing for men, while addressing the specific causes of their homelessness," she said. "We offer them information and referral services, as well as spiritual counseling and life skills training. Our vision is to establish a residential facility in which each man we serve becomes a productive member of society."

Frederick said the committee is grateful of the participation of the corporate sponsors for this event.

"Our corporate sponsors include The New Century Bank; The Kimberton Group; Office Furniture Concepts; Gateway Pharmacy; IMC Construction; Phoenixville Federal Bank; Kelly Chevrolet; PAKOIL Company; Carnevale Eustis Architects, Inc.; and The Kimberton Group," she said. "We appreciate how they've supported the shelter. It is with them that this event is possible."

Tickets for "A Taste Of Phoenixville" are $50 per person. For ticket information for "A Taste Of Phoenixville," please call (610) 933-2000. If you are unable to attend, contributions, which are tax deductible, can be sent to The Good Samaritan Shelter, P.O. Box 514, Phoenixville, PA. 19460. Make checks payable to The Good Samaritan Shelter.

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