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March 4, 2013

Summerfest fundraiser offers ‘Taste of Hope’

March 16 auction and taste fest will support annual outreach in south Warren

By Brian Louwers
C & G Staff Writer

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Liberty Family Outreach program coordinator Katie Miller said a list of items — including a basketball signed by Charlie Villanueva of the Detroit Pistons — will be auctioned during the “Taste of Hope” auction and taste fest March 16. All proceeds will benefit the Summerfest outreach.

WARREN — There’s no doubt that generosity drives Summerfest.

With an annual budget of $80,000 to $90,0000 that’s used to bring goods and services to those who need them the most, generosity is what’s continually needed to pull off the event.

Organizers said one of the best — and tastiest — ways to chip in looms March 16, when Liberty Family Outreach, which started Summerfest through the Liberty Foursquare Church 10 years ago this year, hosts its “Taste of Hope” auction and taste fest in the atrium of Warren’s City Hall.

“This is our only fundraiser for Summerfest,” said Katie Miller, program coordinator for Liberty Family Outreach. “The rest of our funding comes from corporate sponsorships or grants.”

Miller said guests will have an opportunity to bid on donated items, including a premium suite for an upcoming Detroit Red Wings game at Joe Louis Arena; a basketball signed by Charlie Villanueva of the Detroit Pistons; tickets for a show at the Fox Theatre; and gift baskets full of chocolate, coffee and made-in-Michigan goodies.

Pastor Terry Frazier of the Liberty Foursquare Church has worked during the last decade to build a network of churches, city officials, groups and businesses that come together on a Saturday in August for Summerfest. At two separate locations, the outreach offers a plethora of goods and support services, including haircuts, bike repairs, groceries, school physicals, spiritual support and backpacks loaded with school supplies.

“Each year, we pretty much start from scratch,” Frazier said of the efforts to build the resources needed for Summerfest. “The auction is the bulk of the cash donations we have.”

Frazier said Warren Parks and Recreation Director Henry Bowman would play the role of a live auctioneer for some of the donated items this year.

The auction fundraiser is now in its sixth year, and Miller said this is the third year for the taste fest.

Featured restaurants offering tastes at the event this year will include The Cutting Board, Qdoba, American Pie Pizza and the Chocolate Gallery Café.

Last year, the Summerfest outreach on Aug. 11 brought together 650 volunteers from 18 local churches. They delivered 1,900 backpacks with school supplies, 1,000 boxes of groceries, and various services at Warren’s Underwood and Shaw parks.

Tickets for the Taste of Hope auction and taste fest are $15 in advance and $20 at the door. The event will be held in the atrium of Warren’s City Hall, north of 12 Mile and east of Van Dyke, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. March 16.

For tickets or more information call Liberty Family Outreach at (586) 754-2400.

You can reach C & G Staff Writer Brian Louwers at brianlouwers@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1089.