Pizza in hand, Vickie Hammett said Saturday that Jacksonville’s tasters fair was for a worthy cause.
“But it’s a little hot,” Hammett said, speaking of Saturday’s blistering high temperatures.
Regardless, Hammett brought her family to help raise money for the Jacksonville Christian Outreach Center, a local nonprofit that helps those in need.
Numerous local restaurants set up tents outside of Jacksonville State University’s stadium, there to take part in “Spirit on Mountain Street.”
The event last year raised more than $12,000 for the nonprofit, said organizer David Glass. He wasn’t sure how much this year’s event would raise — and he worried slightly about the high temperatures Saturday keeping people away — but as JSU’s Fan Day let out nearby, more people began filtering through, exchanging cash for food tickets.
Nearby, children played on an inflatable slide, and a dunk tank awaited local politicians who’d agreed to let the voting public try to unseat them physically.
The tasters fair is the nonprofit’s largest annual fundraiser, said JCOC volunteer Bob Ford. Money raised goes to help buy food, school supplies, clothing and other aid to those in need, he said.
“People in Jacksonville are so generous,” Ford said. “We’ve never wondered where the money would come from.”
This year, one young man came to the nonprofit to get a pair of new shoes for school, Ford said. On his feet was a pair of badly worn shoes, Ford said, which he’d worn since getting them from JCOC just before the previous school year.
It would be near impossible to count how many JCOC has helped since the nonprofit began, Ford said, and it’s because of the giving nature of the community.
(Editor’s note: Glass said Monday morning that numbers are still coming in, but he expects the day brought in between $9,000-$10,000.)
Staff writer Eddie Burkhalter: 256-235-3563. On Twitter @Burkhalter_Star.