A lack of air conditioning didn't stop a bountiful meal in Nappanee Saturday night.
More than 300 people gathered Aug. 10 at Coppes Commons for Come to the Table to raise money of Family Christian Development Center, which helps families in need around Nappanee. The second annual event included a lot of food, a silent auction and warmer temperatures than expected.
"The highlight is just seeing how much fun people have," said Karen Stoltzfus, executive director of the agency. The fundraising goal was $75,000, but I haven't heard a final tally yet.
Local farms, such as Rise Up Farms and Grass is Greener, give food. Local restaurants or chefs make it and get it ready to serve at the event. And for more than three hours, courses were plated and eaten.
Mattern's Butcher Shop & Corner Deli served pork wings, potatoes and bagel hot dogs to show off what it plans to serve at the Elkhart Miracle ballpark, according to Karen Stoltzfus, executive director of the Family Christian Development Center.
I was at the event for a bit, but didn't get to taste nearly everything.
Andrew Jones of Viand Chef Services offered roast pork and corn fritter bruschetta. Loren Shaum, a local cookbook offer, made Culver Duck three ways. Kathy Myers of Heritage House made Swiss cabbage soup.
I didn't get to taste it, but Scott Woods, owner and chef of Noa Noa Wood Grill & Sushi Bar in Warsaw, made a tropical shrimp salad. Chef Zach Lucchese of Dickie's at Swan Lake in Plymouth didn't have his Watusi beef slider ready when I was there, but I got to try the potato chips he makes that start with soaking the potatoes in Dunegrass beer by Greenbush Brewing Co.
Stoltzfus said there was so much food that people weren't finishing their fudge from Veni's Sweet Shop in Nappanee. Wakarusa Dime Store also gave out jelly beans.
There was a lot of food. The event raised a lot of money. And next year Stoltzfus is hoping the air conditioning works. The drink stations serving tea from Teapot & More and Main Street Coffee, as well as the bottled "Miracle water" touting the baseball team were all popular. "We were all pretty warm" she said.
FCDC assisted more than 5,500 families in 2012 through its programs, including a food pantry and clothing closet.