Story and photos by Garth Snow.
Sponsors said the 2017 Kingston’s Taste of Waynedale was the biggest and best in its nine-year history.
“We have more food vendors and there are more items in the auction, and we appreciate the support of the community,” said Camille Garrison, who organized the event Tuesday evening at Mount Calvary Family Life Center in Waynedale.
Hundreds of people sampled Azar’s Big Boy’s strawberry shortcake, The Stand chili, Culver’s ice cream, Miami Grill sandwiches, Waynedale Bakery cupcakes and the trademark dishes from two dozen other restaurants. Belmont Beverages offered samples of wine and Mad Anthony Brewing Co. served generous tastes of three craft beers.
“Everything’s delicious,” said Landrie Levitz of Ossian, who toured the Taste with her boyfriend Alex Brownell, of Fort Wayne. They had finished sampling food but were still circulating among the crowd.
Serving tables lined each side of the hall. Guests swapped seats and stories as they shared tables with other diners. The stage held more tables.
Gerrett and Ruth Swearingen of Ossian found seats on storage cabinets along the wall. Gerrett, who practices law in Fort Wayne, donated a gift certificate for a will to the Taste’s silent auction.
Certificates for fine dining, oil changes and flowers sold for more than face value.
Once again, the Taste raised money for Honor Flight Northeast Indiana. A second charity usually shares in the proceeds, and this year the Waynedale Corridor Project had that honor.
Garrison, community relations coordinator for Kingston Residence on Winchester Road, also serves on the Honor Flight Northeast Indiana board. Four times each year, she and the Honor Flight leaders accompany dozens of veterans on a one-day flight to the military memorials in the nation’s capital.
Peter Meyer served coffee samples from Sharing Peace Café inside Faith Lutheran Church on Fairfield Avenue in Fort Wayne. He told Honor Flight board member Tom Meyers, of Roanoke, that he is “grateful to serve all of our veterans at such a community event.”
Honor Flight NEI chairman Dennis Covert thanked the community for supporting the fundraiser. “The Taste of Waynedale is a big success and we are thrilled and thankful to Camille Garrison at Kingston for putting this on,” he said. Community fundraisers are essential, he said: “This is what keeps Honor Flight flying.”
Last year’s Taste of Waynedale raised more than 4,000 for Honor Flight and a second charity.
Honor Flight NEI will take 340 veterans to Washington, D.C., and return to Fort Wayne International Airport this year. The first of four flights will take off April 26. Covert said said 27 World War II veterans will be aboard that flight. Twelve more will board the May 24flight. Two flights will follow in October.
He said families and veterans keep stepping forward, accepting the invitation to see the World War II Memorial. “We keep thinking we’re done,” he said. Veterans of the Korean War and the Vietnam War also are waiting.
For details on how to apply to Honor Flight, visit hfnei.org.