The Chatham Council on Aging offered residents an evening of fine food, entertainment and a silent auction Sunday afternoon at its 19th annual Taste of Chatham Banquet.

The event was held for the first time at the Galloway Ridge auditorium. In the past, it has been held at Carolina Meadows, Governor’s Club and the Fearrington Barn.

The event is, and always has been, the top fundraiser for the Council on Aging’s programs and services, said the organization’s executive director, Angel Dennison.

The monies raised go for a range of services but especially home-delivered meals, in-home aide service and care-giver respite, said Megan Collins of the Council on Aging. “Keeping seniors who still live in the community healthy is our main goal,” she said.

Everything except the music was donated. This included tapas-style offerings from restaurants, all the items in the silent auction and the venue at Galloway Ridge.

UnWINEd owner Joni Pavlik was one business owner who spent her Sunday afternoon offering free wine samples near the entrance to the auditorium.

“I don’t usually give wine away,” she said, “but I believe in supporting senior citizens and the Council on Aging.  They cannot be the forgotten population at all.”

Mayor Randy Voller agreed. “Given that the demographics in the country are changing, these types of events are very important,” he said.

Chad Virgil was one of the attendees, and a sponsor of the event through Edward Jones. He said he has been coming to the event for many years.

“It is one of the few dress-up occasions fo Chatham County,” he said,”not to mention good food. Its an opportunity for people to dress up and mingle. I also think it is raising money for a very good cause. They do a good job every year.”

There was a range of items and packages offered as part of the silent auction. One was a “Taste of Siler City” package with meals from Bestfoods Cafeteria/Haley Bales, Compadres and Dry Dock. (Siler City Mayor Charles Johnson was an initial bidder at $60).

Other items included jewelry, a golf package and a homemade basket with flowers. Two of the most valuable offerings were a hot air balloon ride ($200 value) and a stay at the Fearrington House with breakfast and afternoon tea ($250 value).