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Best in show voted at Taste of Hays County; raises a record amount for UWHC

More than 300 United Way supporters filled Duchman Family Winery on May 31 for a dazzling evening of fine food, sweet treats, live music, live and silent auctions and more for the 5th Annual Taste of Hays County in benefit of United Way of Hays County.
The event overall helped to raise nearly $16,000 for United Way of Hays County programs and partners. The event also featured a very special “paddles up” portion of the evening, which raised $3,100 for the Early Readers Become Leaders book drive, a joint effort between United Way of Hays County, the San Marcos Chamber of Commerce,Texas State University and other member organizations of SOAR to give high-quality free books to local children in need.

“Taste of Hays County guests spent a great evening, but even more, the guests contributed to creating positive changes for our entire community,” says Michelle Harper, President & CEO of United Way of Hays County. “Each dollar donated helps further the commitment that United Way has to improving the lives of Hays County residents.”

Showcasing restaurants included: 4Mooses BBQ, Bobcat Nation, Centerpoint Station, Cody's Bistro & Lounge, EuroCafe, First Impressions Bakery, Ilario's Italian Cuisine, Mochas and Javas, Rocky River Grille and Texas Hill Country Olive Company. Each restaurant served up savory bites and fresh eats to wow guests.

Attendees voted on the best in seven different categories; “Best Appetizer,” “Best for Lunch,” “Best Entrée,” “Best Dessert,” “Best for Dinner”, “Best Overall Runner-Up”, and “Best Overall”. The showcasing restaurants were lauded not only for their delicious servings, but for their time and willingness to set up for an event that gives back to the community.

“Considering the substantial amount of delicious cuisine and enthusiasm to participate shared by the other restaurants, we very much appreciate the awards given to Ilario's. We were more than willing to donate our time for a fundraiser that so strongly advocates education,” remarked Ilario's owner, Steve Swindell.

Cody's Bistro & Lounge took home the “Best Overall” award for the second year in a row and impressed guests in the “Best for Dinner” and “Best Appetizer” categories as well. Mochas and Javas proved they're not just known for their coffee when their vegetarian-friendly quinoa salad won “Best for Lunch”. Rocky River Grille locked in the vote for “Best Entree”, with an artful presentation of creamy scallop and salmon. Ilarios's won “Best Dessert” for their delectable cannolis, as well as “Best Overall Runner-Up”. 

The event was graciously supported by area sponsors, including: Butler Manufacturing, HEB, TXI, Jason Tarr Realty Group, Premiere Party Central, Texas State University, Randolph Brooks Federal Credit Union, CFAN Aerospace, Community Impact Newspaper, Seton Medical Center, ColorMix Graphics and Printing, Dale & Cecilia Kelley, Ruben & Michelle Lopez, Blue Computer Solutions, Wayne & Robin Becak, The Honorable Bill & Shelley Henry, Priority Personnel and San Marcos Academy.

The date for the 6th Annual Taste of Hays County has been set for April 11, 2015 at Duchman Family Winery. Prepare to let your taste buds run wild! For more information visit www.unitedwayhaysco.org or call 512.353.1420.