What could be better than sampling delights from dozens of local food establishments while at the same time helping numerous charities? For the eighth year, the annual Tasting Statesboro the United Way fundraiser offers residents a chance to do just that.
For the price of a ticket - $18 in advance or $25 at the door - one can taste locally made pizza, barbecue, Asian food, baked goods, honey, jams, jellies and condiments. Vendors will also have coffee, chicken and wings, steak, seafood and Italian dishes, along with Southwestern fare and many more treats from local caterers, bartenders and others.
Vendors will promote their menus ranging from breakfast, lunch and dinner dishes to appetizers and desserts, coffee, beer and wine. All proceeds from the event directly benefit local charities.
The event will be held Thursday, March 1, from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at the Natural Resource Building behind Ogeechee Technical College, said United Way spokesperson Carey C. Melton.
"We have 35 confirmed food vendors that will be giving out samples of the best they have to offer, all under one roof," she said.
Tasting Statesboro will also feature live music by Cyril Durant and raffles of over 30 donated items.
"This year, Jesse Blanco with the Emmy-nominated television show 'Eat It and Like It' will be emceeing the event," Melton said.
Guests will be able to vote for "Best Food" by putting money in jars that are at each of the vendor's tables.
"We call it 'Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is,' " she said.
The United Way helps fund dozens of local charities including Area Christians Together in Service (ACTS), the American Red Cross, the Boys and Girls Club of Bulloch County, the Bulloch Alcohol and Drug Abuse Council, Citizens Against Violence, Concerted Services, the Statesboro Food Bank, Hearts and Hands Clinic, Prevent Child Abuse, Senior Companion and more. A complete list can be found at www.unitedwaysega.org.
Advance tickets will be available for purchase until Wednesday, February 28, at midnight. Tickets for kids younger than 6 are free and are $10 for kids ages 6-10.
Tickets can be purchased at Bulloch First, Citizens Bank of Bulloch County, Farmers & Merchants Bank, Renasant Bank (Main Street), Sea Island Bank (Fair Road), Your Pie and a number of United Way agencies, or visit www.tastingstatesboro.eventbrite.com.
The Statesboro Jaycees and Professional Women of Statesboro are volunteer partners, as are Kappa Sigma and ZETA at Georgia Southern University.
For a list of participating vendors and of businesses sponsoring the event, visit www.tastingstatesboro.com. For more information, contact the United Way office at (912) 489.8475 or email Melton at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Herald reporter Holli Deal Saxon may be reached at (912) 489-9414.