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Good eats for a good cause
Flavors of Forsyth benefits United Way
Flavors WEB 1
Parker Runde, 3, enjoys frozen yogurt Sunday during Flavors of Forsyth at the Lanier Technical College Forsyth Conference Center. - photo by Jennifer Sami

Caroline Breingan had waited her whole life to try an ice cream cone.

The 2-year-old got her chance Sunday during the third annual Flavors of Forsyth, benefiting the United Way of Forsyth County.

Most of the ice cream ended up on her face, but that didn’t stop her excitement.

It was also a memorable moment for her family, including father Bob, who is manager of sports medicine at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, which helped sponsor the event and has a local facility.

“It’s a nice exposure, I think, for everybody, so they get to see all the services that Forsyth has to offer,” he said.

The Children’s Healthcare booth was manned by staff who fielded questions. For Juan Ramirez, though, the gathering at the Lanier Technical College Forsyth Conference Center was all about the food.

“[Flavors of Forsyth] is perfect,” he said. “You don’t have to wait in line … I love it.”

The short lines could stem from lighter attendance, said Ruth Goode, executive director of the United Way of Forsyth County. Still, she was optimistic about reaching the goal of $26,000.

All proceeds will go toward United Way’s general programming, including about 60 initiatives throughout the county.

“I think we’ll be very close to that,” Goode said. “With a new location and a new day and time, overall, we’re very pleased with the results.”

The event was previously held on a weeknight at the nearby Avenue Forsyth shopping center.

Mary Chandler, who helped run the volunteer center this year and last, said the event drew about 15,000 people in 2011.

“They feel like they’re giving something to the community,” she said of the nearly 250 volunteers. “It’s just important for people to feel good about where they live and help pitch in.”

It was also a way for local vendors like Valerie Fricker to gain exposure. The Dreamcakes Cupcakes owner said she was pleased with the response.

“I’m giving a lot of cards out,” she said. “I’ve got an order already for a graduation party. Hopefully it will get my name out there.”

Alison Medina is new to the county. The event helped her learn about restaurants and organizations, as well as a fun way for her kids to spend the day.

“There’s not that many things going on out there today, so it’s nice to have something where you can bring the family out and enjoy the weather before it gets too hot,” she said. “It’s really great.”

Munching on some “phenomenal” bruschetta from Mia Ristorante Italiano, Mark Francis was glad he came out.

“This is a good tradition,” he said. “It’s for a good cause and it will help raise some money for United Way. What better way to spend your money then to have a fun time and eat some good food?”

The high temperature hovered above 80 degrees until late, when the event had to end more than hour early due to rain.

Overall, the day was a success, said Goode, adding that the event likely will remain at the conference center in the future.