Treat your taste buds at the Taste of Wylie, April 23

18th annual event benefits the Wylie Christian Care Center

Show your support, help fill the Wylie Christian Care Center food pantry, and treat your taste buds at the 18th Annual Taste of Wylie on Monday, April 23.

More than 25 local restaurants and supermarkets will showcase their cuisine from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the First Baptist Church Wylie Event Center, located at 200 N. Ballard Ave. in downtown Wylie.

Bid on fabulous items in the live and silent auctions, and take a chance on a raffle for a 42” Vizio 3D LCD HDTV, 3D BlueRay player and  four pairs of 3D glasses, donated by Dr. Brian Dunagan, D.D.S. Raffle tickets are $5 each or $20 for five, and will be available at the event. Raffle tickets can also be purchased in advance from most Taste of Wylie committee members, including Rhonda Amos in the HR office at Wylie City Hall, 300 Country Club Road.

Among this year’s Taste of Wylie participants are Albertson’s-Wylie; Arby’s-Wylie; Ballard Street Café; Boomerjacks Grill and Bar-Murphy; Brookshires Grocery-Wylie; Chili’s-Wylie; Chiloso Mexican Bistro-Wylie; Confection Perfection by Melissa; Dickey’s Barbecue-Wylie; Fish City Grill-Garland; Meats and Sweets-Lavon; Meteor Hamburgers-Wylie; Napoli’s-Wylie; Nutrition Revolution-Wylie; Papa Murphy’s Take ‘n Bake Pizza-Wylie; Pizza Getti-Nevada; Sam’s Club-Garland; Say It with Sugar Cake Shop-Wylie; Taste of Home-Wylie; and Woodbridge Golf Club and Restaurant-Wylie.

The Title Sponsor for the event is the Women’s Link Center of Wylie – a Medical Center of Plano facility.

Admission is $10 in advance or $12 at the door; $8 for seniors; $5 for ages 6 and up; free for children 5 and under. Tickets are available at American National Bank-Sachse, American National Bank-Wylie, Capital One Bank-Wylie, Chase Bank-Wylie, Inwood National Bank-Wylie, and ViewPoint Bank-Wylie.

Proceeds from the Taste of Wylie benefit the Wylie Christian Care Center.

About the Wylie Community Christian Care Center

Wylie Christian Care Center
The Wylie Christian Care Center, located at 606 S. Ballard St., is open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday, Wednesday, Thursday; and 10 a.m. to noon to Saturday.

For more than 25  years, the Wylie Christian Care Center has opened its doors to local families in need, providing short-term, emergency assistance in areas of food, clothing, rent and utilities.

Too often, seniors right here in our community are forced to make difficult choices between buying food and purchasing medicine; parents are going without in order to feed their children; and working class families are deciding whether to pay utilities or put food on the table. That’s where the Wylie Christian Care Center comes in.

Sponsored by the Wylie Ministerial Alliance, the nonprofit organization carries out its mission of helping neighbors in need through the generous support of area churches, businesses, civic organizations, schools and individual donors.

Perhaps most notably, the Care Center is staffed by all volunteers; there are no paid employees.

The Community High School FCCLA sponsors a canned food drive for the Christian Care Center.

“It’s a marvelous ministry that helps a lot of people,” said Raymond Cooper, who has served as Executive Director of the Care Center since 1993. “If you’re in the Wylie ISD or the Community ISD, or if you’re a member of any of the churches in those districts – or if you’re just hungry – we’re going to help you.”

A typical family of four will be offered about 70 items of food, intended as a one-time boost to help them through their period of critical need.  Cooper estimates that the center had about 3,000 family visits last year.

“We’ve never turned away anyone who is hungry,” he said.

The center relies on donations of non-perishable food items to stock its pantry shelves. Bulk orders of beans, rice, sugar, flour and pasta are purchased. Freezer space is very limited. Canned meats, cereal, jelly and peanut butter are often in short supply – but as Cooper is quick to point out, the Wylie community is responsive.

Members of the Wylie East High School Sapphires join Raymond Cooper during the 2011 Thanksgiving bake sale. Organizer Amy Nap of American National Bank said it was the 24th year that volunteers helped prepare cakes, cookies, muffins, pies, breads, candy and cupcakes to benefit the Christian Care Center.

“There is no overhead, so donors know where their money is going. If you give us a dollar, a dollar goes to someone who needs it,” Cooper said. “There are at least 40 to 50 businesses in Wylie that actively support the Care Center.  It’s amazing, really. And we have volunteers that have been with us for more than 20 years. We need and appreciate every one of them. If you see them, be sure to tell them thank you.”

The center’s current facility, located at 606 South Ballard, was constructed after the previous location was ravaged by a tornado on Mother’s Day, 1993.

“When the tornado blew the lid off that little building, I made it my business to get them a permanent place,” said Cooper. He led efforts to construct the new building,  and that’s when Cooper became a fixture with the organization. The Care Center’s new home was built entirely with gifts and donations from local businesses and friends.

Cooper is about to celebrate his 80th birthday, and he still dedicates several hours a day to the Care Center and to his family’s businesses.

Canned meats, cereals, jelly and peanut butter are always needed.

“When you’re brought up to help people, you just don’t quit,” he said.

The Wylie Christian Care Center is open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Thursday; and from 10 a.m. to noon on Saturday.

Stop by the Care Center to donate or inquire about volunteer opportunities. For those wishing to send monetary donations, checks may be mailed to PO Box 262, Wylie, Texas 75098.

Thanks to American National Bank of Texas, Sachse/Wylie Banking Centers, for their support of the Wylie Christian Care Center and Blue Ribbon News.

Written by Dawn Redig for publication at Blue Ribbon News, all rights reserved. 


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