The first "Taste of the Market" event takes place Thursday in Wheeling's Centre Market, with proceeds raised benefiting a local child advocacy agency.
The event takes place from 5:30-8 p.m. Thursday in the North Market House at Centre Market. For an admission fee, patrons will be able to sample offerings from Centre Market eateries, including the Soup Shack, Market Vines, Casa DiVino, Coleman's Fish Market, Michael's Beefhouse, Valley Cheese, Oliver's Pies, Centre Market Bakery, Cookiepops and Centre Cup Coffee.
The Rotary Club of Wheeling has organized the event as a fundraiser for CASA for Children serving Ohio, Marshall, Wetzel and Tyler counties.
Photo by Joselyn King
Barb Hunter, an employee at Oliver’s Pie, prepares pastries for the upcoming “Taste of the Market” event in Centre Market, set for 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday in the North Market House.
"CASA" stands for "court appointed special advocate," and volunteers with CASA for Children assist judges by checking in on children, assessing the environment in which they live, then reporting back to the courts. The agency provides technical assistance, training, and public awareness activities for its volunteers.
The Rotary Club of Wheeling became familiar with CASA's efforts last year when an employee there addressed a Rotary luncheon, said attorney Tim McKeen, president of The Rotary Club of Wheeling.
"Any community member can volunteer to be a CASA." he said. "Their role is to be an advocate for the child."
The Rotary Club of Wheeling also is involved with promoting other causes, according to McKeen. During the fall, the group sponsors a golf scramble that last year benefited the Augusta Levy Learning Center.
"We hope this (Taste of the Market) will become our spring fundraiser," he said.
Centre Market Manager Kurt Zende said businesses there were eager to assist in the fundraiser.
"We want to showcase Centre Market, and all the businesses here that make it great," he said. "We have many specialty eateries."
Frank Warren, owner of the Soup Shack, hopes many come out to sample what Centre Market has to offer.
"Every day here is exciting," he said. "We have new people come down everyday. The key is to treat everybody with respect ...."
It's also important to make the food presented look good to patrons, according to Warren.
"You eat with you eyes first ... then you get the good stuff," he said.