Representatives from the Family Justice Center of Georgetown County hope everyone attending the fourth of Taste of Georgetown brings a hearty appetite to help a cause with a big heart.
The eating extravaganza, 12:30-3:30 p.m. Saturday on Georgetown’s Front Street, between Queen and King streets, has become the Family Justice Center’s main fundraiser, said Alicia Barnes, a board member for the Georgetown-based charity, which helps protect people countywide who cope with domestic violence.
More than 20 restaurants, most from the city of Georgetown, but a few from the Waccamaw Neck, will serve up their trademark dishes.
Question | How is the event this year even more special amid the comeback that one downtown block of Front Street will make in years to come after the fire on Sept. 25?
Answer | We saw from previous events, fundraisers and the annual Wooden Boat Show that there seems to be an esprit de corps, a strong sense of community. The fire aftermath seems to have strengthened Georgetown. We just think the fact that people are resilient, and that preservation and having events downtown show we will rise from these ashes. That’s what makes it special: that we can go forward in light of the tragedy. ...
My husband and I have lived in Pawleys Island for 15 years, but we’ve always considered Georgetown our hometown.
Q. | How has this event, Family Justice Center’s signature benefit, continued to grow every year?
A. | People have had a great time when they come downtown. We’ve had great weather in early November. It’s like everyone brings a hearty appetite. A lot of people bring their families and dogs. It’s just a very nice location to be outside in downtown Georgetown. And how we’ve grown is because people come and find out we have some really great food in Georgetown.
Q. | Among the restaurants taking part, is there one cuisine that dominates, or do the audience’s tastes change every year?
A. | Lowcountry fare dominates a little bit, with barbecue, shrimp and grits. As the event has grown, we’ve had a more eclectic offering. This year, we have the best menus we’ve ever had, and we’re including some items for children. Also, we have more music than we’ve had before, with three musical acts. That makes it a lot more festive.
Q. | Amid the happiness and festival nature of this afternoon, how much more real is the need for awareness about Family Justice Center’s cause and the need to help people in need and in danger – and how that need for help never subsides?
A. | For the Family Justice Center, which serves all of Georgetown County, we see this as a strong opportunity to educate people about domestic violence, and we hope that people will come and show their support for the Family Justice Center, the only domestic violence shelter in Georgetown County.
We share the same awareness month in October as breast cancer, yet more women and more people are affected by domestic violence than by breast cancer.
South Carolina is now No. 1 in the nation for domestic violence, and we feel it’s important to make people aware of that and to support organizations that are working to alleviate that, to make a difference.
Q. | How does this bolster the critical role the Family Justice Center plays for the south Strand?
A. | The Family Justice Center has complete services for victims of domestic violence, not just immediate crises, but the prolonged care to take a woman of family away from dangerous circumstances. The key is get individuals and families into a place where they are safe, where they are able to have functional lives and sustain themselves, and to get the healing that they need.
Q. | What other events for increased public awareness are on the long-term calendar for the Family Justice Center?
A. | We’ll have a Luna Fest in May, a film festival ... and we’ll see what Georgetown County Sheriff A. Lane Cribb’s new effort, the G-MEN – Georgetown Men Endorsing Non-violence – grows into. Those are men interested in doing something about domestic violence. Too many people see it as a women’s issue, because most of the perpetrators are men, but men should also be involved in mediating the problem.
Contact STEVE PALISIN at 444-1764.