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By JOSHUA COFFMAN
ELIZABETHTOWN — It was a record year for A Taste of the Heartland.
Surpassing a goal of $30,000, organizers raised more money than in any of the three previous years.
In all, about $32,000 was brought in Friday night from ticket sales and auction items. The $50-per-person dinner netted $22,000 and nearly $10,000 was raised from art pieces sold to attendees.
Plus, organizers expect donation checks to continue trickling in to the office this week. The event benefits the Community Health Clinic of Hardin and LaRue Counties.
“It was a banner year,” said Jane Cornell, the event’s chairwoman.
For the dinner, 18 restaurants participated and more than 30 works of art were sold.
The total more than doubles last year’s sum of nearly $15,000 when, Cornell said, A Taste of the Heartland went head-to-head with a Pops in the Park concert.
More than 160 diners packed the tables at the Historic State Theater this year.
“It was a full house,” Cornell said.
In 2005, its first year, $22,000 was raised, followed by $20,000 in 2006.
Cornell attributed the success to the committee of volunteers who organized the event and got the word out.
“They went out and they just exceeded,” she said.
The event raises money for the clinic on East Memorial Drive in Elizabethtown where medical services are provided to residents of Hardin and LaRue counties who meet the 185 percent criteria of the poverty level — about $39,000 annually for a family of four, based on 2008 numbers from the federal Department of Health and Human Services.
Cornell said in many cases, the services benefit working families who cannot afford health insurance.
“In some cases, it’s a stop-gap sort of thing,” she said. “They may have dropped their insurance … to afford food and rent.”
Joshua Coffman can be reached at (270) 505-1740.