Taste of the Town brings out nice crowd on pretty Spring day, raises money for The Exceptional Way

Published 8:37 pm Saturday, April 15, 2023

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In a jam-packed weekend filled with resource fairs, GreenPower races, and Miracle League softball, the Junior Service League hosted its sixth annual Taste of the Town in the Historic Hillside community.

This free, family-friendly event was in collaboration with partners DASH (Dependable Affordable Sustainable Housing) and Pure Life House of Music. There were nine vendors and eight performers courtesy of Pure Life.

Grayson West, the 2023 chair, said she felt the event went well and had an amazing turnout.

“We’ve had all our vendors show up, all the art vendors show up, and there were a lot of people who seemed to be really enjoying all of our hard work,” West said. “I am very proud of the work we put in to make this year’s Taste of the Town a success.”

West said this year JSL had a goal to raise $15,000 for the 2023 benefactor, The Exceptional Way. At the time of publishing, the festival was able to raise approximately $10,000.

The Exceptional Way is an organization that provides individuals with disabilities the social and recreational activities they require to promote healthy living, support social relationships, improve life skills and foster community involvement.

Jodie Maharrey, program coordinator for The Exceptional Way, said they are thankful to be the benefactor of this year’s fundraiser.

“This will give us the ability to more things to do with our participants. We will get to go on outings, have more crafts and do more things for them — it all funnels to our participants, and we are grateful for the support of our community,” Maharrey said.

Festival attendee Trinity Pike said the event has become a yearly event he enjoys taking his family to.

“We have been coming here for a few years and, every year we look forward to it,” Pike said. “My family enjoys it and I love being able to see their faces light up with excitement knowing we are coming here together.”

Jamie Wells, said as someone who likes to buy locally, she loves the opportunity to see what amazing crafts and talents the LaGrange community has to offer.

“Every year I end up buying too much stuff, but I love being able to help the little guy and support the small businesses in town. Sure, I could buy from a big brand but buying local means so much more,” Wells said.