Hundreds of attendees made their way to the Henrietta Memorial Center on Friday to sample food and wine from local businesses and restaurants during the Dream Come True Foundation of South Texas’s second annual “Flavors of South Texas” fundraiser.
“We are very pleased with the turnout,” DCTF-ST President Jackie Ilse said.
Started in 2015, the Dream Come True Foundation of South Texas is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that serves residents in Kleberg, Kenedy, Brooks and Jim Wells counties. Its parent organization, the Dream Come True Foundation, was founded in 2008 in Austin.
The DCTF-ST provides financial assistance, educational opportunities, access to community partners and mentoring to individuals with well-defined goals but who are held back from pursuing them because of economic hardship.
The organization is currently assisting three dream achievers, and Ilse said they are hoping to add two more in the near future using funds raised through tickets sales, sponsorships and other donations.
“Our goal this year is $50,000,” Ilse said.
The “Flavors of South Texas” food and wine tasting is the DCTF-ST’s only fundraising event for the year. Attendees buy tickets and are able to sample dishes and drinks from a variety of local restaurants and businesses.
Participating merchants this year included the Baffin Bay Seafood Company, Bella Roma Italian Restaurant, Big House Bar-B-Que, Big House Burgers, Cherry Tree Tea Room, Discount Liquor, El Dorado Restaurant, Green Jay 6th Street Diner, HEB, Javelina Catering by Aramark, Nucky’s Cocktail Bar, Ol’ Girls Kitchen, Pepe’s Patio, South Texas Hole in the Wall, Spice Station Indian Cuisine, Wild Horse Distillery, Wingstop and Young’s Pizza.
Wilva West, owner of Discount Liquor and DCTF-ST board member, said the annual event helps not just the organization but also lets the local community sample and get to know the businesses and restaurants in the Kingsville area.
“We get to show everybody what we have available, and everybody gets to try before deciding if they want to purchase a whole bottle,” West said.
“It’s good for our business, and it’s great for the fundraiser,” she added.
West said the wine her business was sampling ranged from $12 per bottle to more than $100 on the high end.
“So it’s wine that people might not typically go out and buy without having tried it first,” she said.
West said Discount Liquor, located at 626 N. 14th St., participated in last year’s event as well, although they were moved to a different area.
“We did really well last year, but they moved us (to another area in the building) because we were blocking the entrance,” she said. “Everybody wanted a sample.”
New to this year’s fundraiser, as well as to Kingsville, is Ol’ Girls Kitchen, a home-style restaurant located at 213 E. Kleberg Ave. that is owned and operated by the mother and daughter team of Mary Ann and Melissa Woodruff.
“We’ve been open six months,” Mary Ann Woodruff said.
Ol’ Girls Kitchen was a popular stop for attendees during the event, where they were able to sample the restaurant’s bread rolls, chicken salad, stuffing, roast turkey and dressing, meatloaf and dessert.
“We’re unique,” Mary Ann Woodruff said. “We’re the only restaurant in town that does everything from scratch. We make our own rolls, we make our own chicken salad, (and) we don’t buy anything from wholesalers already pre-prepared.”
“Our meatloaf is fantastic,” she added. “You ought to come down for ‘Meatloaf Monday.’”
As a new restaurant, Mary Ann Woodruff said participating in the “Flavors of South Texas” event was a good opportunity to advertise their business as well as get the community to sample from their menu.
“I think this (event) is going to be great for us,” she said. “Because none of these people have I seen in our restaurant so far. Now they know we’re here.”
The total raised for the event through ticket sales and sponsors was not available at press time.
For more information on the Dream Come True Foundation of South Texas, email Jackie Ilse at email@example.com or visit dctf-southtexas.org.
Anthony Ruiz can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or (361) 221-0251.