“Pulled pork, shrimp and grits, butter bean succotash, smoked gouda mac and cheese, smoked turkey, collard greens.” Jane Birnbach, senior development director at Good Shepherd Center, lists the menu for this year’s decadent fundraiser. The sixth annual Flavor of NC is Saturday, November 9, at Carolina Yacht Club. Aside from soulful Southern fare, Coastal Beverage has donated NC craft beers and wines, plus a silent auction will take place. Folks can expect a fall-themed specialty cocktail (think hot toddy) and seasonal décor, as they dance to music spun by Gravity Records’ Matt Keen. Layers are recommended for the casual event, as it takes place oceanside at Wrightsville Beach.
Birnbach tells encore more about how buying a ticket to Flavor of NC supports Good Shepherd’s programming.
encore (e): Is there anything new, different or improved upon in year six of Flavor?
Jane Birnbach (JB): This is the first year with a vinyl DJ, second year for mobile bidding with silent auction. You don’t have to be there to win, and bidding will start the day before the event. This year we will have opportunities to donate for Good Shepherd services as part of the auction. For example, if you were outbid, you can still go home a winner by knowing you made a donation to feed a family, provide transportation, or help a homeless guest on their path to housing.
e: What are attendance and fundraising goals this year compared to last?
JB: We expect 350 guests—our goal is to raise $110,000. Last year we raised $100,000.
e: Tell us how money raised at this event support Good Shepherd programming?
JB: All proceeds support Good Shepherd, so guests can rest assured their contributions in tickets, sponsorship or silent auction purchases are going directly to services. We use these funds to provide emergency services, such as food, shelter, clothing, case management and transportation for our hungry and homeless neighbors, but more importantly, [it goes to] the more intensive and expensive work of returning our guests to their own housing with dignity and respect.
Flavor of NC really began as a way to remind us all we have neighbors who are hungry—people like us, veterans, single moms, seniors, folks with disabilities, working adults making minimum wage. We all have a responsibility to end hunger and homelessness in our community.
e: Is there a recent story or anecdote you can share about Good Shepherd’s work?
JB: Most recently we’ve seen a 30% increase in demand for our services—both food and shelter—in the aftermath of Hurricane Florence. We had a single mom who had been living with her own mother and became homeless when their house was destroyed in the storm. This young mom and her infant child were recently rehoused in an apartment of their own and both are thriving.
Last year more than 250 homeless men, women and families with children found their way back home thanks to generous friends like those attending Flavor of NC.
e: Anything else you’d like to add?
JB: We are so grateful to the many sponsors, ticket purchasers and those participating in the silent auction who make Flavor of NC such a success every year. Kudos to our all-volunteer committee who work hard each year to create an event that is fun and meaningful and, in the end, make a huge and lasting impact for those we serve.