More than 37 restaurants and wineries will be offering food and beverage samplings at this year’s Taste of Carroll, the most the event has ever featured.
Organizers say this year’s Taste of Carroll will be the most successful yet, with proceeds supporting Carroll Hospice, and their inpatient and outpatient services, as well as a full scope of bereavement programs.
Taste of Carroll has raised more than $800,000 for Carroll Hospice over the past 12 years, said Hospice Executive Director Diane Link.
Serving Carroll, Frederick and Baltimore counties, Carroll Hospice started providing services in 1986, and according to Link, served 820 patients last year. Hospice provides end-of-life care for terminally ill patients and bereavement support for family members and caregivers.
“Most of our staff work in Hospice because they feel called to work in Hospice,” Link said. “They view the dying process as another stage of life. They teach the family how to be caregivers and help the patient achieve any final wishes.”
Carroll Hospice provides a large bereavement support group network throughout the county for Hospice and non-Hospice clients. It is open to members of the community and there are different groups and activities including a widow and widower group, a pet loss support group, a breakfast group and a holiday workshop. There is no charge to participate in these groups.
Link said that last year about 1,300 people received support through the bereavement groups.
The organization offers two unique summer bereavement camps for children dealing with loss—Camp TR is an overnight camp at Hashawha and Healing Hearts is a day camp that takes place in Westminster. Link said that typically 20-25 kids attend each camp and there is no cost for attendance.
Hospice is best known for its support and palliative services offered to patients who are at the end of their lives.
Link explained that Carroll Hospice receives Medicare and insurance reimbursements but only at the rate of $153 per day, per patient.
“Reimbursement for care does not cover the cost to provide the care, thus the fundraising we have to do throughout the year,” Link said.
Costs add up quickly, Link explained. Carroll Hospice takes care of medication, medical equipment, nurses, chaplains, social workers and other needs for the patient and bereavement support for the family during and after the patient dies. This doesn’t include the camps, support groups and other outreach initiatives. She said the costs are more than the reimbursements.
“Carroll Hospice is important in this community because we provide palliative care services that touch not only the patient but also the family. We provide not only quality of life for the patient but sometimes life is even extended when Hospice is in the home,” Link said. “Our goal is to keep the patient in an environment they want to be in, which is in the home.”
The newest program being offered by Carroll Hospice is a pediatric palliative care program for children who have been diagnosed with a terminal illness. Link said the organization is not actually serving any patients in this program yet but it has recently hired a child life specialist with a grant from the New York Life Company.
Link said the Taste of Carroll fundraiser is vital to ensure Carroll Hospice can serve the community, and it’s also a lot of fun.
A VIP reception featuring Alicia Sacramone, Olympic gymnast and Brady Quinn, of the Denver Broncos, will take place from 5-6 p.m. while the general tasting event will take place from 6-9 p.m.
Some of the businesses supporting Taste of Carroll with food and wine contributions include Mia Carolina, Cygnus Wine Cellars, Bud’s at Silver Run, Grilled Cheese & Co and Starry Night Bakery.
The event will also feature a live and silent auction with more than 100 items including: a week’s stay in a vacation home in St. Martin in the Caribbean and Deep Creek, MD; a golf foursome at Piney Branch Golf Club; and Raven’s tickets, among others. Highlights of the live auction include a five-night cruise on Royal Caribbean, a trip to Napa and tickets and accommodations to the ESPY awards in Los Angeles.
Link said that the event was moved to Gerstell Academy this year to accommodate a bigger crowd.
“This event is a great way to support Hospice. Hospice reaches almost everyone in the community at some point, plus, it’s a great time,” Link said.
Tickets are limited and available for $75 for the general tasting event and $150 for the VIP tasting. Tickets can be purchased online at www.CarrollHospice.org or by calling 410-871-7223.