Red Cross: No ‘Taste’ event this year

Published 12:00 am Thursday, April 9, 2015

The annual Taste of Covington County event will not be held this year, Red Cross officials said Wednesday.

For the last eight years, the Covington County chapter has sponsored the event, which has raised $10,000 and $15,000 a year to fund disaster relief in the county.

The event usually draws 20-plus restaurants and as many as 500 hungry visitors.

“This year we have evaluated our special events and have postponed or canceled some of them,” said Mike Brown, executive director of the South Alabama Chapter. “When running special events, you must careful not to use an excessive amount of staff time. This event was orchestrated by the staff and took a tremendous amount of time. That factor, coupled with the net revenue, made it unrealistic to continue in its current form.”

Brown said he talked to board members and each agreed it was a good decision.

In September, the local chapter merged with the South Alabama Chapter, which is Mobile-based.

Since then, volunteers have staffed the local office.

“We are in the process of rebuilding the Red Cross volunteer structure in Covington County and are on pace to respond to many more fires than last year,” Brown said. “I explained to the board that once we have this structure completely in place, we can do some effective fundraising.”