Pass the Plate offers heaping helping of events

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 1, 2009

By Elizabeth G. Cook
Extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures.
Organizers of next Saturday’s Pass the Plate have expanded the menu of activities aimed at raising funds for Rowan Helping Ministries.
An enthusiastic planning committee has come up with some imaginative offerings, according to board vice chair Tippie Miller.
Raising money during a recession can be hard, Miller says. “But knowing this community and how they care for their own … I think the community will come forward and do this.”
This year’s Pass the Plate will include the usual type of events to be auctioned, such as a Tropical Sunset Cruise on High Rock Lake for 12 (hosted by Celia and Steve Jarrett, Jane and Mark Ritchie and Nancy and Steve Sherrill) and a Blowing Rock/Westglow Spa Weekend for eight, hosted by Tracy and Kenan Smith. All expenses are covered by the hosts, who are Rowan Helping Ministries supporters.
Two teen events have been added ó a Teen Mystery Dinner (hosted by Fern and Glenn Albracht and Jean Wurster) and a Prom Night or Graduation Dinner (hosted by Jessica and Nick Goodman) ó greatly expanding the pool of possible participants.
And for the first time, Pass the Plate participants (and others) can buy tickets to events planned later in the year. They are:
– Halloween at Lake Norman, $125 per person. (Hosts: Luanne and Jimmie Anderson, Christy and Wink Cline, Valinda and Nash Isenhower, Jane and Steve Seeberg and Mona and Lee Wallace.)
– Beans and Jeans at Bill and Shari Graham’s home this fall, $50 per person. (Other hosts: Henrietta and John Henderlite, Elizabeth and Gary Langford and Tracy and Kenan Smith.)
– Lucky Dollar Saloon at Brick Street Tavern on Aug. 31, $50 per person. (Hosts: Joyce and Joel Goodwin, Linda and Dennis White and Tippie Miller.)
“For $250, you can attend three really great parties while supporting RHM,” Miller says.
The festivities benefit a serious cause, helping the non-profit Rowan Helping Ministries serve some of the area’s neediest citizens.
Each month, its Soup Kitchen serves 3,880 lunches, and its shelter provides 2,270 breakfast and evening meals. Groceries are provided five days a week through its Food Panty ó an average of 1,050 pounds a day.
Miller says the Crisis Assistance Network part of the ministry is seeing 90 new applicants a day ó many of them people who have never had to seek help before.
Some of the Pass the Plate events help the agency in more ways than one. For example, the first batch of meat off the grill at the Festival of Meat (a party for 20 featuring a variety of grilled dishes) will go directly to the Homeless Shelter to be served to clients for dinner, Miller says. Hosts are Margaret and James Faust and Glenn Hudson.
Others reach out to the community. Camp Catawba, sponsored by Margaret Faust and Catawba College, is a day of activities for 15 boys and girls that might benefit from a day on campus.
Other events to be auctioned:
– Hot Dog and Ice Cream Social for 50, hosted by Burl Brady and Alice Ketcham and Beth and Charlie Sowers.
– Wine Overnight Tour for eight, hosted by Lina and Steve Drinkard.
– Dinner for eight couples at Del Frisco’s Restaurant in Charlotte, hosted by Wendy and Paul Capito and Christy and Wink Cline.
– Night in Palm Beach (or at least in Palm Beach attire) for 12 couples. Hosts are Gwin and Matt Barr, Tina and Vance Merhoff, Virginia and Mark Robertson and Sarah and Brett Busby.
– Fobb or Fun … Oysters … Beer … Brats for 26, to be served in your own backyard, hosted by Brenda and Franco Goodman and Julie and Bob Steele.
– Yadkin Valley Wine Tour and Gourmet Dinner for six, hosted by Beverly and Thom Dillard, Burl Brady and Alice Ketcham.
– Run for the Roses 2010 for 50, hosted by Victor and Vicky Wallace and Mona and Lee Wallace.
Donations will be accepted throughout the evening to fill Rowan Helping Ministries’ 2009 “Feeding the Hungry” Calendar. Breakfast for one day is $50, lunch is $250 and dinner is $100. The meals can be sponsored in honor or memory of someone or to celebrate a special occasion.
Rowan Helping Ministries’ $1.75 million annual budget provides shelter, food and financial assistance to nearly 400 people a day.
The first Pass the Plate had a goal of $50,000 and raised $57,000. That’s a week and a half of crisis assistance, Miller says.
The second year, the event raised $110,000.
This is Pass the Plate’s third year, and the goal is $125,000. The event committee includes Fern Albracht, Brenda Goodman, Jessica Goodman, Shari Graham, Alice Ketcham, Tippie Miller, Tracy Smith and Linda White.
The event takes place Saturday at the F&M Trolley Barn, starting with a silent auction and preview of auction items at 6:30 p.m. The auction begins at 8 p.m., with WBTV reporter David Whisenant as auctioneer.
Attire is casual.
Tickets are $40. Though invitations went out to people on Rowan Helping Ministries’ mailing list, “everyone is both welcome and encouraged to attend,” Miller says. “It will take us all to aid those in need within our community.”
Reservations can still be made by calling Miller at 704-633-5806. Tickets can also be bought at the door.
Event payment is expected the night of the auction by check or credit card.