Fort Mill Times

Get a ‘Taste of Fort Mill’ and help vulnerable children

A night of dancing, drinks and dinner, for a good cause? It’s almost sure to be a sell-out, said Cindy Kelly, organizer of Taste of Fort Mill.

Taste of Fort Mill, on April 26, offers an evening of food and wine tasting from 16 area restaurants, including Local Dish, Carlos Cafe, Fish Market and Bistro 160, as well as vegetarian cuisine from Eat Well and a carving station from Leroy Springs catering, among others. Wine tasting will be hosted by Tipsy Bottle.

Kelly, a Fort Mill resident, has volunteered in the classroom at the Palmetto School at the Children’s Attention Home for several years and is now turning her attentions to help them raise money for the nonprofit organization. The kindergarten through eighth-grade school serves children who have been removed from their homes by the Department of Social Services. They are typically students who live at the Children’s Attention Home, though they also serve children who live at local shelters, including Pilgrim’s Inn, Family Promise and Safe Passage.

Kelly remembers one time when a lack of funding caused the school to eliminate a teaching position. She watched that teacher tell her students “goodbye” and was helpless to do anything about it.

“There was devastation on these kid’s faces, and I can only attribute it to broken relationships these kids have had to endure. So much uncertainty,” she said.

Kelly wanted to do something to prevent that from happening again.

“So I started brainstorming ideas of what might work. Something fun. It’s a heavy topic, so I wanted it to be fun and celebrate what the school is doing,” she said.

From there, Taste of Fort Mill was born.

A D.J. will provide music for dancing. The event will be held at the Springfield Golf Pavilion from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m., rain or shine.

Tickets are available for $35 per person, advance purchase only. Already, more than half of the 400 available tickets have been sold, said Kelly, and she expects a sell out.

For more information or to purchase tickets, go to