St. Paul’s Episcopal Church hosts annual Taste of Grace

Katalina Quintanilla, Reporter

Katalina Quintanilla
Volunteer pours a glass a wine to a Taste of Grace patron.

St. Paul’s Episcopal Church hosted their 9th annual Taste of Grace at The Gardens at Mill Creek on Oct. 5.

The yearly event is a fundraiser for the Bakersfield Homeless Center and the Alliance Against Family Violence and Sexual Assault. Every single item at the fundraiser was donated from parishioners, the community, and co-partners of the church. 

“It [Taste of Grace] brings the community of Bakersfield together,” said Miriam Raub Vivian, a parishioner. 

“It is an affordable and fun event for everybody.” 

The fundraiser gave members of the church and the community the ability to come together to help raise awareness and donations for a good cause. Donations provided the fundraiser with unlimited wine, a diverse selection of cheeses, and home-cooked meals made by members of the community.  

“We’ve been coming for 9 years,” said church members Dolores Whitley and Marilyn Metzgar. They said the thing that brings them back every year is the comradery and the gift to support and give back to the homeless shelter.  

California weather was in favor of a calming breeze and with a sunset that illuminated The Gardens with a carefree ambiance. Standard Procedure, a local jazz band, delivered live music to event goers to ease the night with some classic tunes.

Katalina Quintanilla
Supporters greeting and enjoying each other’s company.

“We are sold out once again with a little over 100 people anticipated,” Cindy Lyday, External Affairs Manager, said. 

Lyday said that from the first event to now it has grown immensely with the help of the community. Many congressional members attended and donated a lot of the food for the night. She also brought seven volunteers from either the homeless shelter and the Alliance to help with the event as well. 

“The beauty of events like this is that it has unrestricted funds. So we can use these funds to fill any hole that we have at the homeless center and the Alliance. Anything from repairs in the building, to helping buy diapers for the babies,” Lyday said. 

The money raised at the event is split between the sister organizations, the Homeless Shelter, and the Alliance. For the past 10 years, St. Paul’s has had the pleasure to organize a Taste of Grace for the non-profit organization with the hopes of growing every year. 

“We need community support. There is a lot of opportunities to help the Alliance, there is a lot of opportunities to help the Bakersfield Homeless Center if they reach out to us and called us,” Lyday said. 

Katalina Quintanilla
Attendees at the Taste of Grace event enjoying live music at The Gardens in Mill Creek Park on Oct. 5, 2018.