Helping Hands

Freedom Food Festival

Aids Local Groups

A total of $18,000 has been distributed to local charities following the first Freedom Food Festival held July 3 in downtown Lexington.

Chefs Jenny Elmes of full circle catering, George Huger of Southern Inn Restaurant, Troy Sheller of The Georges, and John Stallard of C.H.E.F.S. Catering worked with “Celebrity Chefs” representing area non-profits to prepare picnic-style meals that were tasted and judged. Proceeds from meals and drinks directly benefited the participating charities. Each of the groups received $2,000 from the Freedom Food Festival Steering Committee.

“As the festival winner, we were thrilled to take home the highly coveted 2019 Freedom Food Festival Spatula, however, it was equally fulfilling to share the stage with such worthy non-profit organizations,” said Lexington Chief of Police Sam Roman. “It was a pleasure to participate in an event that raised money which will be allocated to enhancing the resources available to this great community.”

Judy Casteele shared in the warmth stating, “Project Horizon was pleased to be a part of the first Freedom Food Festival. This community has always been supportive of our work and mission. When George Huger pitched the idea, we were happy to sign up. Thanks to the amazing Jenny Elmes, owner of full circle catering, we were honored to win the People’s Choice Award. We’re already looking forward to the 2020 FFF!”

“I have envisioned a big street festival in downtown Lexington during the 4th of July holiday for quite some time,” said George Huger. “It was remarkable to see it finally become a reality and I felt it was the perfect way to bring our entire community together for a celebration while also giving back to some of our local non-profits.”

Serving as Celebrity Chefs were Sam Roman for the Lexington Police Foundation, Judy Casteele for Project Horizon, Laurie Macrae for Rockbridge Area Hospice, Executive Director Misty Camden for Yellow Brick Road Early Learning Center, Rockbridge County Sheriff’s Department Lt. Steve Funk-houser for Rockbridge County High School Girls Soccer Booster Club, and park manager Jim Jones for Friends of Natural Bridge State Park.

The Freedom Food Festival was a partnership between Southern Inn Restaurant, Rockbridge Regional Tourism, Main Street Lexington, and the Lexington/Rockbridge Chamber of Commerce. Special thanks go to the city of Lexington and Lime Kiln Theater for event support and to Love Canon and Erin & The Wildfire for lively festival entertainment.

Sponsors of Freedom Food Festival were Bank of the James, CornerStone Bank, Devils Backbone Brewing Company, Hess & Co. Jewelers, James River Realty, Lee Hi Travel Plaza, Huffman Insurance, Perkins & Orrison, Rockbridge Vineyard, Southern Inn Restaurant, University Cleaners, and White’s Travel Center.

The News-Gazette

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