It was the perfect weather for a gala occasion. On Friday, May 17 Pearl S. Buck International in conjunction with Local Living Magazine and Open Aire Affairs, hosted the ninth annual Taste of the World at Green Hills Farm near Perkasie. The evening included dinner prepared by fourteen of our regions most talented chefs each competing for this year’s new “Top Taste” award. The winners were chosen by four distinguished judges each providing a unique perspective. The event was hosted by NBC 10’s Tim Furlong.
The evening began with a VIP meet and greet with our celebrity chef panel. Guests enjoyed hors d’oeuvres while conversing freely along with Mr. Furlong, Chef Joseph Poon, Chef Maria Liberati, Chef Barry Sexton and Local Living’s own Kimberly Cambra. Chairman of the Board of Directors David Yoder offered a heartfelt thank-you to all the sponsors and volunteers and reminded everyone of the difference Pearl S. Buck International makes in the lives of children all over the world.
Mr. Yoder, of all people, would know. On Christmas Eve, 1948, as a infant, he was welcomed into the home of the Nobel Prize winning author as the first of more than 7000 children from 28 countries who have been successfully placed in loving families by Ms. Buck’s foundation. Ms. Buck knew that if she hadn’t provided a home for David he would have never found one. At that time, Chinese and mixed-race children were not considered for adoption by child placement agencies. In 1949, just after David’s adoption, Ms. Buck founded Welcome House and continued protecting and defending children right up until her passing in 1973. Since then Welcome House remains the adoption arm of three organizations under the umbrella of Pearl S. Buck International. The second, Opportunity House, is a child sponsorship program allowing donors to reach out to children facing poverty and discrimination all over the world. The Pearl S. Buck House provides care and maintenance to the author’s house as well as the 63-acre Green Hills Farm recognized as a National Landmark by the Department of the Interior.
Participating chefs were asked to prepare a tapas style dish to be judged by the celebrity chef panel. The panel chose the evenings Top Taste award. Guests voted for their fan favorites in dinner, dessert and beverage. The celebrity panel awarded nearby Tabora Farm and Orchard as the top taste while Fan Favorite honors went to Joey G’s Gourmet Deli and Catering of Newtown and Pasqualina’s Italian Market and Deli in Blooming Glen. The special desert prize went to The Lucky Cupcake in Pipersville. The beverage prize was awarded to The Pearl S. Buck Volunteer Association.
A silent auction included a variety of valuable items donated by businesses and individuals in support of the event. A live auction, sponsored by Comcast, featured similarly donated items like an antique Reginaphone 72rpm Phonograph with antique records, a trip to Jamaica, a handmade basket consisting of wood gathered from Pearl S. Buck’s gravesite after hurricane Sandy and a behind-the-scenes tour of our nation’s Capital by none other than Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick. Congressman Fitzpatrick was on hand to describe the experience himself which is sure to be a once in a lifetime for one very lucky bidder.
Proceeds from the event will provide much needed funding for the many programs supported by the three organizations operated under Pearl S. Buck International. In particular, work is underway on a massive project to restore the Pearl S. Buck House on the grounds of Green Hill Farm. The house was listed as a National Historic Landmark in 1980; however, the years have caused the house to fall into some disrepair. While work has been underway for some time now, as of the night of the event the organization still needed $424,815 of the over $2.8 million required to finish the work on the house which remains a national treasure and hosts hundreds of visitors each year.
Pearl S. Buck International is respected worldwide for it’s ethical treatment of children in the process of care and adoption. In 2008 Welcome House received Hague Accreditation from the Hague Convention of International Adoption. The organization is also listed as “Top-Rated” by Charity Watch, an organization committed to scrutinizing the legitimacy of charitable organizations nationwide.
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