This will be my third year for attending the Taste of the County fundraiser sponsored by the United Way of Jefferson County, and this will be my third year to be excited about that, too.
This is a great evening out that's not only enjoyable, but it raises local money that stays local to help the 18 member agencies supported by the United Way.
Taste of the County begins at 5 p.m. Tuesday at St. Florian Hall in Wintersville and gives people a chance to sample great food and desserts, courtesy of 14 restaurants, caterers and bakeries who will be on hand for the 18th-annual event where the theme is "Dining and Diamonds."
Chip and Chris Warren of Discovery Jewelers with a $4,500 ring for the treasure chest
--Janice R. Kiaski
They are: A Touch of Elegance Bakery; Aubrey's; Baby Boyz; Dolce Pizzelles; Downtown Bakery; Froehlich's Classic Corner; Lancelot's; Malta's Pizza; Mama G's; Manfred's; Piergallini's Catering/St. Florian Hall; Scaffidi's; The Ville Restaurant; and Zalenski's Eatery and Pub.
Not only can you sample what they'll have, you also can have a voice in the People's Choice Award for the one who best epitomizes the theme. Place a vote for your favorite one. The winner will be announced at the end of the evening and receive a trophy and bragging rights.
And speaking of "Dining and Diamonds," I saw the $4,500 18-karat gold diamond ring being donated by Chip and Chris Warren, owners of Discovery Jewelers in Wintersville, and it is a sight to behold.
Some lucky person will be taking that home through a new attraction at Taste of the County. There will be a treasure chest you can buy keys for - one for $20 or six for $100. If your key opens the chest, you get to reach in for one of many grab bags that will be in there - grab bags with big-ticket items, including this ring. Also up for grabs literally in this treasure chest are other jewelry pieces, including pendants and bracelets, but other things, too, including a framed Barnhouse print, an overnight stay for two at the Duquesne Club in Pittsburgh, an overnight stay with breakfast at Seven Springs Mountain Resort and an autographed Browns football.
As for the Kate McCullar designed ring donated by the Warrens, it's three-quarter karat total weight in diamonds with a larger center stone, oval cut with pove set diamonds around the center and down the sides. Very pretty.
Patrons also can purchase $10 chances for a gift card tree featuring a variety of gift certificates and $10 for mystery gift bags.
To attend Taste of the County, tickets are $30 per person with $20 tax-deductible. They can be purchased by calling the United Way office at (740) 284-9000. A cash bar will be available.
There will be tickets at the door, too.
So, it's not too late to put this on your Tuesday calendar.
It's now my standing birthday gift to my brother-in-law Buddy Kiaski, and it gets me off the hook to cook, which Better Half appreciates as much as I do. A win-win in my book. See you there!