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Free Clinic offering dinner and a show for a cause

By Staff | Oct 15, 2012

Local physicians will show new skills to raise funds for the Eastern Panhandle Free Clinic at its “Tastes and Sounds of the town,” event on Saturday.

According to Vicki Shean, development manger, the clinic will take its first turn at hosting the already popular “Tastes and Sounds” event.

“This is new event for the clinic,” she said.

Shean, who acted as event organizer, along with a board of volunteers, said that local restaurants including Bistro 112, Mellow Moods, Blue Moon Cafe and the Yellow Brick Bank will all contribute dishes for the dinner and a show fundraising event.

“We have 17 different restaurants and catering vendors,” she said.

In years past, “Tastes,” was held as the signature event for the now defunct Friends in Action nonprofit. Shean said she hopes it will be just as successful for the free clinic as its been in the past.

“It’s been a very popular event,” she said

Though it usually features local bands as entertainment, the free clinic decided to ‘re-brand’ the event with a health care theme this year.

Shean explained that local physicians and health care professionals have agreed to compete in a special talent show, with a twist.

“We highly encourage cheating,” she said.

Shean said she wants each performer to come with their boxes already stuffed with donations, as the performer who raises the most funds will be named, “favorite entertainer,” and all money raised will go to toward the clinic.

Performers include a comedy barber shop quartet, singers, dancers and other musicians.

In addition to cash donations, guests can also play a “helping head, caring heart,” game and win chances to purchase needed services, like patient flu shots or diabetic testing strips for those in need.

The Eastern Panhandle Free Clinic offers health care to low income people ages 19 through 64, who live without health insurance and who do not qualify for Medicaid or Medicare.

The clinic, which was founded in 2001 by two nurses who “saw a need to in the community,” has grown to providing services for thousands in the local area.

“We saw over 10,000 patient visits last year,” Shean said.

The clinic offers referrals to specialists, free medication, treatment of chronic diseases and counseling services for patients, among another things.

The event will be held at the Clarion Hotel and Conference Center from 6 to 10 p.m. this Saturday, Oct 13. The event cost is $50 a ticket. Those interested in donating or finding out more information can visit tastesandsounds.org.