Local patrons enjoyed some tasty cuisine Thursday, and while they satisfied their taste buds and appetites, they helped service community organizations in the process.
The “Dine Out for United Way,” campaign took place Thursday with restaurant owners donating a portion of their lunch and dinner proceeds to United Way of Sampson County. During the day, the participating restaurants included Zeng’s Chinese Palace, Alfredo’s Ristorante Italiano, Mi Finca, Ribeyes Steakhouse of Clinton and Oasis Oyster Bar & Grill.
Before the event, Nancy Carr, executive director for United Way of Sampson County, and other members of the organization encouraged residents to eat at the locations, which covered a variety of food genres such as seafood, Italian and Asian cuisine.
The local United Way, with the help of the community, local businesses and industries, raises money each year for partner agencies. The Dine Out event assists in that fund-raising effort.
Alfredo DiPinto, owner of one of the Dine Out venues, said it’s something his restaurant has done for several years in an effort to help UW and its agencies.
“It’s something we believe in,” DiPinto said. “We believe in the people running the organization, first and foremost. So that certainly brings a level of comfort when you’re confident with people working in the organization and get behind them to donate as much as we can.”
For 2015, United Way is running a campaign goal to raise $175,000. According to Carr, it was at 80 percent in November. The campaign is scheduled to end Dec. 31 and will be followed up with an annual multi-step application and presentation process for agencies to be selected. For some programs and organizations, United Way funds are the only source of local funding.
Current United Way partners include the Boy Scouts of America-Tuscarora Council, Breast and Cervical Cancer Control Program, Clinton Area Foundation for Education, Delta Sigma Theta, Fitness Renaissance Program, Girl Scouts-North Carolina Coastal Plains, Sampson County Child Advocacy Center, Sampson County 4-H, Sampson County Fireman’s Association, Sampson County Friends of Education, Special Olympics-Sampson County and the Wheelchair Ramp Program.
Anita Cashwell, manager of Zeng’s Chinese Palace, took a break from her busy afternoon to discuss the organization which helps people throughout the community.
“We’re happy to do it and we’re glad to help,” Cashwell said of the Dine Out event. “We feel that we’re helping and we want to help the community as much as we can. It’s one of the main service organizations in the community.
Reach Chase Jordan at 910-249-4617. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd and like us on Facebook.