“This is absolutely critical to us,” said Paul Hebert, executive director of CHAMP Homes, said when asked about the importance of Friday’s Taste and See event at Oyster Harbors Club.
The dinner, now in its 13th year, allows attendees the chance to sample an eclectic offering of food from around Cape Cod as 24 local restaurants provide samples of their tastiest dishes.
The highlight of the night, HAC CEO Rick Presbrey said, is the Give a Bed, Create a Dream auction in which attendees purchase the cost of sheltering a homeless person for a night. “It always feels good to see that people would pay for a stranger to spend a night at a homeless shelter,” he said.
Beyond that, he said, the evening is an enjoyable one. “The food is especially good, there are always a lot of people and the venue is beautiful,” he said. “It is always nice to see the community coming together to help people less fortunate than themselves.”
The event was started by Father Mark R. Hession, the former pastor at Our Lady of Victory Parish in Centerville who has since moved on to Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church in Seekonk.
Funds raised go to benefit HAC’s NOAH Shelter, CHAMP Homes in Hyannis, and the Pilot House in Hyannis. Last year’s Give a Bed auction raised roughly $50,000 for these three organizations’ shelter efforts. “Clearly, there is a homeless crisis on the Cape,” Father Hession said. “You don’t really think about it being a problem on the Cape, but there is that invisible community and they are real people who are looking for a way to move on and out of shelter care and have their dignity restored.”
While this year’s Taste and See is sold out people can still support the event by making a Give a Bed donation that will ensure the Cape's homeless have a safe place to stay at night by clicking this link.