Categorized | Business, Community

Rotary’s Eighth Annual Taste of Millington a success, benefiting education

By Linda Coopertaste of millington

More than 30 of the areas restaurants, bakeries and ice cream shops, as well as several businesses and nonprofit organizations promoted their goods and services at this year’s Taste of Millington event. The event drew nearly 600 people from throughout the community to the N-82 gymnasium at the Naval Support Activity Mid-South, Tuesday evening March 18.
The Millington Rotary Club’s premiere fundraising event in support of the organization’s education-focused service projects raised somewhere between $9-$11,000, according to Rotary Club President Ken Uselton.
This was the eighth year for the annual event, the brainchild of Rotary Club member Cary Vaughn, who suggested the event as the Rotary Club discussed various ways to raise funds for its charitable causes. Vaughn explained that he had worked at a similar event in Jackson, Tenn., while a student at Lambuth College, and thought such an event would be a fun and unique way to engage the community and raise funds.
Vaughn noted the event has grown exponentially over the years in the number of vendors participating, as well as in the amount of funds raised. “This year, we had vendors come from Arlington, Lakeland and South Tipton County. It’s almost becoming a regional event,” he said.
Uselton explained funds raised through ticket sales from the event will provide several $1,000 scholarships for Millington Central High School students. There is an application process, and recipients are chosen by the faculty and community members.
In addition, the Millington Rotary Club, in partnership with Rotary International provides dictionaries for every third grade child in all Millington-area schools that feed into Millington Central High School, as well as extra dictionaries which are placed in all of the school libraries.
Further, Uselton noted, the district Rotary Club organization, which includes Shelby County and North Mississippi sponsors a Rotary Youth Leadership weekend at Whispering Pines, a training center in North Mississippi. The weekend brings students together to learn and hone leadership skills, as well as to build peer networks and relationships. In the Millington area, two students are selected by principals and faculty at Millington Central High School and Tipton-Rosemark Academy to attend, and all expenses for the weekend are paid for by the Club.
Vendors at the Taste of Millington were not charged a fee for their booths, but were simply given the opportunity to promote their goods and services to the community. Several businesses served as key sponsors underwriting the event including Patriot Bank and Ritter Communications, as well as Rotary Club members.
Entertainment was provided by the group, “Sue and the Lenders,” who sang 50’s and 60’s tunes.
Jimmy and Dusty Warren, who attended the event for the first time this year said, “It’s a nice friendly environment, we think this is just great. All the food is wonderful, and so delicious.”
Wyatt Earp’s Sports Grill & Steakhouse located at 120 East Quinton Drive in Munford showcased its prime rib, and was voted the “People’s Choice” by event attendees.
“I believe this was our best event in the eight years we’ve hosted it,” Vaughn said. “The weather was impeccable, with the best display and mixed-bag of vendors, as well as great sponsors and a steady crowd.”
Uselton added, “The event was absolutely a success, and we have already begun discussions to set next year’s date.”
The Rotary Club was founded by a businessman as a support organization for business owners. Today, the organization also takes on a variety of service projects centered on education. In addition, Rotary International is committed to the eradication of polio across the globe, as well as providing fresh water wells to Indian reservations in the U.S., and to countries around the world in need of fresh water in Central and South America, Africa and Southeast Asia.
Uselton explained, the club name Rotary comes from the practice of the organization rotating its meeting places. The Millington Rotary Club currently meets Thursdays at noon at Patriot Bank. For more information about the Millington Rotary Club, find them on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/millingtonrotary, or contact Ken Uselton at 834-7734.

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