Dinner funds efforts to ‘bring hope to the hopeless’

By: Brian Louwers | Warren Weekly | Published March 2, 2018

WARREN — The daily grind. It’s something probably all of us know, to one extreme or the other.

Some live day to day, or paycheck to paycheck. Some may not have paid sick days or decent insurance. Some could be an injury, an illness or a costly car repair away from a financial crisis, where a challenge to pay monthly bills would quickly turn into a struggle to put food on the table.

If that sounds hopeless, you should be able to sense how important hope is.

The security of hope is exactly what the Taste of Hope Auction and Tastefest was created to support.

For 11 years, the evening of delicious food and silent and live auctions has served as the main fundraiser for the annual Summerfest event, hosted by Liberty Family Outreach.

The Taste of Hope will be held in the atrium of Warren City Hall again this year, from 6 to 9 p.m. March 10.

“Our auction is the biggest source of income that we have, to be able to help the community the way that we do,” said Pastor Terry Frazier, of Warren’s Liberty Foursquare Church, 3800 E. 11 Mile Road, just west of Ryan Road. “It’s always a first-class event, a great evening to get out, get some good food, have some fun and support a great cause at the same time.”

Frazier founded the Summerfest outreach 15 years ago and has seen it grow into a massive endeavor that has helped thousands of local families by providing basic material needs and services. Things like back-to-school haircuts, sports physicals, bicycle repairs, backpacks full of school supplies, and groceries were provided for years during events held at one or two parks in south Warren. The event transitioned to the church campus last summer, where volunteers worked to accommodate registered families asked to arrive at scheduled times.

“We originally started Summerfest because we wanted to do something kind of mission-minded,” Frazier said. “We found that a lot of our volunteers couldn’t afford what it costs to take a mission trip overseas, so we decided there was enough need in our own backyard that we didn’t need to go very far to help people.”

Frazier added, “We started small, looking to help as many people in our own community as we could. As word got out and it continued to grow, then the scope of our outreach continued to grow. With the help and support of people, there’s a lot more that we can do.”

Supporting Summerfest through the Taste of Hope is easy and enjoyable. What you can expect is an evening of delicious food samples from local restaurants and a chance to bid on donated prizes ranging from themed specialty baskets of goodies, to a stone vanity top, to a backyard barbecue package for 40 people, to sports memorabilia.  

“It’s such a nice event. Our main thing behind everything we do is to bring hope into what appears to be, or feels like, a hopeless situation for somebody else,” said Katie Miller, program coordinator with Liberty Family Outreach. “The fundraiser is the only fundraiser we hold. It really provides the bulk of the funding that we need to continue year-round outreach in the community.

“This is an important event. We really want people to come out and enjoy the evening,” Miller said.

Additional donated items are also being sought for the auction.

Tickets for the Taste of Hope cost $15 in advance and can be purchased online at www.liberty4square.ticketleap.com/tastehope. Tickets will cost $20 at the door.

For more information or to make a donation, call (586) 754-2400.