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Rain adds season to Taste
Food fundraiser benefits shelter
taste 5 jd
Justin Meier, right, hands a bratwurst to Pete Amos. - photo by Jim Dean
Organizers of the Taste of Forsyth said the seventh annual event went well despite a recipe for rain.

Proceeds from the festival of food Sunday went to Family Haven, a temporary shelter offering help to women and children who are victims of domestic violence.

Shalon Coffey, executive director of the nonprofit organization, said about 7,000 braved the weather for the event, which featured a cross section of cuisine from Forsyth County restaurants.

“The threat of rain was there,” Coffey said. “It went great despite the weather ... the weather’s the only thing we can’t control.”

Coffey said several new local restaurants and businesses took part. Food vendors set up booths beneath the covered arena at the Cumming Fairgrounds, while other exhibitors took shelter under tents.

The festival gave residents a chance to sample a variety of foods. There were pony rides and inflatables for children, and businesses donated baskets of goods and gift certificates for a silent auction.

Coffey said the event also “helped create awareness for Family Haven, alerting people that we serve victims of domestic violence.”

Proceeds from the fundraiser, Family Haven’s largest, will go to putting the final touches on a new building, slated to be completed in May.

Coffey said the new shelter will house 27 women and children, an increase from the current building’s capacity of 18.

In the past year, the organization provided shelter for nearly 200 women and children, fielded about 2,100 hotline calls and made some 3,600 referrals to similar agencies.

E-mail Frank Reddy at