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   There’s nothing like a gathering of friends around the dinner table: the comfortable flow of chatter about day-to-day events, the relating of humorous stories, sometimes even the sharing of grief. The dinner table has long been a central point of communication in our society.
   What if an evening around the table could actually make a difference in our community and in the lives of those in need? That’s exactly what happens at the Evening of Care, an annual fundraiser for the CARE Clinic. The 12th annual Evening of Care is scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 7. People all over the community will open their homes for an evening of fun and good food — and you’re invited.
    Sandy Ammons, one of the organizers of the annual event, said this fundraiser is one of the most anticipated events of the year.
   “Every year it grows and grows,” said Ammons. “There are so many different types of parties all over town. Some of the dinner parties are formal and some of them are more like backyard barbecues. The one thing they all have in common is that they are all fun.”
   {mosimage}While the atmosphere at the dinners may be different, all of the meals are the same. Each year Dorothy Royal, of Snyder Memorial Baptist Church, cooks each and every dinner. Diners can choose between lasagna and a chicken meal. In case you’re wondering, that’s a lot of meals. Last year, 703 meals were served, which raised around $60,000 for the clinic.
   Joanne Chavonne, another member of the organizing committee, recounted how the event has grown over the years.
   “Our first year, in 1998, we served 343 meals and raised $31,000,” she said. “Every year it has grown a little bit. We are on track on our reservations from last year, and we expect to serve as many, if not more this year.”
   Last year Chavonne, who started Fayetteville Cares, an organization whose main goal is to show support for the men and women in the armed forces in our community, added a new element to the dinner. Community residents were able to sponsor wounded soldiers to the dinner.
   “We had an overwhelming response,” said Chavonne. “We ended up with 104 sponsorships. Everyone in the community was so supportive, and we’ve had great feedback from the military, as well.”
   Chavonne said to date, there are 50 military sponsorships, but she expects more to come in as the deadline for the registration quickly approaches.
   “We’re looking forward to this evening. It’s going to be a lot of fun,” she said.
   Ammons said that the event is one of the biggest fundraisers for the clinic each year. The CARE Clinic is a private, nonprofit organization that provides free medical care and dental extractions for uninsured, low income adults of Cumberland County. The clinic relies totally on grants, donations and fundraising events, such as The Evening of CARE to continue to provide health services in the community.
The cost for the dinner is $75 per person. If you would like to receive an invitation, please contact Gloria at The CARE Clinic at (910) 485-0555 or e-mail projects@nc.rr.com. 

Contact Janice Burton at editor@upandcomingweekly.com




























 
 







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