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Hometown Flavors Buffet to benefit Burrell Area Rotary Club

| Sunday, April 7, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

Variety is on the menu at the Burrell Area Rotary Club's Hometown Flavors Buffet. The event is sure to please the taste buds while raising money for charities the service organization supports.

The strolling buffet from 1 to 6 p.m. Sunday will cater to those hungry for a taste of what the area has to offer. The event will take place at VFW Post 92 in Lower Burrell. Admission is $15 and $7.50 for age 10 and under.

More than 20 vendors will put their best food forward, offering everything from pizza to pies and from farm favorites to local wines.

Among participants are Around Back Cafe, China Lobster, Giovanni's Pizza and Villa Ballanca.

“Everybody's going to bring something that they're proud of and that's kind of a signature dish for their business,” says Cindy Sakala, past district governor of the Burrell Area Rotary.

“The vendors are a little secretive about what they're bringing in,” she adds, “so I'll be just as surprised as everyone else.”

The event will raise money for the Burrell Area Rotary's charitable efforts such as St. Margaret Mary Church food pantry, Meals on Wheels, Tri-City Life Center, PA Hero Walk, the Hope Center and People's Library. The group also puts money toward the efforts of Rotary International.

“I think it's a win-win for businesses, too,” Sakala says. She notes how the event — which she views as an alternative to fundraisers like spaghetti dinners — will allow local restaurants, caterers and markets to showcase their tasty offerings.

“It's a way to focus on a few signature items and just a way of doing different things,” says David Phillips, who, with his wife, Judi, runs Lower Burrell's Creative Catering and Specialty Foods by Creative Catering.

One of the best reasons to go, Phillips says, is to support charity.

Another is the opportunity to try food from many local establishments.

“People have a really good chance to see what (is offered) without coming to our shop or someone else's,” he says.

The fundraiser is one Sakala imagines will become a signature event for the Burrell Area Rotary. She had seen a comparable event that was successful as a fundraiser and for its entertainment value.

“I attended an event similar to this, and it was well-attended, it was a lot of fun,” she says.

That fun on Sunday will include not only the chance to dig into a delectable selection, but also to participate in giveaways, a 50/50 raffle and musical entertainment by acts like the Saxy Ladies of Burrell High School and an appearance by Kevin Snider, Penn State New Kensington Chancellor and Burrell Area Rotary Club member.

No matter what they are hungry for, those going should be pleased with all that the Hometown Flavors Buffet is serving up.

“They can expect a good time,” Sakala says. “I think they can expect to get their money's worth.”

Julie Martin is a contributing writer for Trib Total Media.

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