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Fundraiser to serve up taste of Hays





Mary Elizabeth Maternity Home is gearing up for the annual Taste of Hays fundraiser. The eighth annual event provides local restaurants with the opportunity to showcase their signature dishes for all attendees to sample. Five hundred people will be admitted, with a cost of $100 per couple, and all funds go toward supporting the operation of Mary Elizabeth Maternity Home.

"The board of directors knew we needed a steady source of income, so they came up with the idea for a fundraiser," said Christin Nunnery, executive director of the home. "This fundraiser brings in a net profit of $25,000."

Seventeen restaurants will be in attendance, including Carlos O'Kelly's, Applebee's, Gutierrez, Jimmy Johns, Chestnut Street Kitchens, Paisley Pear, Sake 2 Me, Dillon's, Whiskey Creek, Thirsty's, Parties by Design, Papa Murphy's, JD's Country Style Chicken, Gambino's, Golden Coral, Freddy's and Dairy Queen.

"All restaurants are told to bring a sample size for 500 portions," Nunnery said. "Not everyone who purchases a ticket will show up, so at the end, all the local restaurants get to go around and sample as well."

In order to recruit restaurants for the fundraiser, the home mails letters at the end of August asking restaurants if they're interested in participating.

"We've had some restaurants that have participated since year one, and they're always really excited to come back," Nunnery said. "It's usually a real quick, 'Yeah we'll participate.' "

According to Nunnery, the fundraiser always sells out.

"People are asking for tickets by the time we actually get them in hand," Nunnery said. "Our board members are a huge reason why it's such a success since they go around and actually sell the tickets. We have some people who sell 40 to 50 tickets, some who sell 20 tickets, but every ticket helps."

Aside from the fundraiser, the home runs primarily on donations from the community and surrounding communities.

"When they are state-placed, we do get a portion from the organization they are placed with, but it really doesn't cover the stuff that we deal with," Nunnery said. "That's why our fundraiser is kind of pricey for a ticket, but we don't have to do very many fundraisers because that helps us quite a bit."

The Taste of Hays fundraiser will be Sunday. For more information or to purchase a pair of tickets, call (785) 626-6800.