MAIN LINE BANTER: Six new ‘flavors’ on sixth annual Taste of Berwyn’s menu

By Ray Hoffman – August 23, 2018
(reprinted with permission)


It wasn’t designed that way, but it seems an appropriate coincidence: The sixth annual Taste of Berwyn is offering “six new flavors” for those planning to take part in this family food and fun festival next month.

That’s not to say that there wasn’t plenty of delicious food to taste and appetizing activities to enjoy at the five previous Taste of Berwyn events. But the six-pack of new additions makes the day more tantalizing than ever.

Taste of Berwyn, presented by Daemion Counseling Center in partnership with the Rotary Club of Paoli-Malvern-Berwyn, is scheduled for Sunday, Sept. 16, at Easttown Township’s picturesque, 23-acre Hilltop House Estate at Beaumont Road, Devon.

Time out here to address an anomaly. As most Main Line residents know, the Hilltop House Estate is in Devon, not Berwyn. Identifying “official” locations hereabouts often frustrating because of the crazy labyrinth of postal zones, abutting municipalities and towns that are irritatingly indigenous to our humble abodes. For now, however, let’s forget “what’s in a name.” Instead, direct our attention to the noon to 5 p.m. community fair that will help raise awareness and support Daemion Counseling Center’s work in providing affordable mental health services to those in need.

First let’s identify the new half-dozen “tastes” on tap at this sixth annual event:

  1. Bingo, with a card full of great prizes, will be called on the Hilltop porch all during the day.
  2. Best Buy, of King of Prussia and Exton, in addition to tuning in its mammoth, HD color TV set on site into the Eagles-Tampa Bay Buccaneers game, also will raffle off a brand-new, 50-inch UHD-TV, as well.
  3. The new Target store in Devon will be on hand with gifts to celebrate its grand-opening.
  4. Maserati of the Main Line will showcase a new Maserati “to wish for” on site.
  5. Four authenticated, personally autographed, 8-by-10 framed color photos of Nick Foles will be offered at a silent auction or raffle.
  6. Three prizes, instead of only one, will be awarded in a 50/50 raffle in which a maximum of 400 tickets will be sold. First prize will be 50 percent of the revenue raised by the sale of the tickets (could be as much as $10,000), second prize is a Tiffany & Co. 1837 Sterling silver interlocking circles bracelet and third prize is four premium-seat tickets for a 2019 Phillies game.

Also, residents of Genesis Senior Living’s Paoli Pointe and Highgate and those at Dunwoody Village, Newtown Square, will be first-time special guests at Taste of Berwyn, and Genesis will sponsor the bingo, as well.

Returning to serve their “signature dishes” all day long will be Margaret Kuo’s, Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza, Tira Misu Cucina Romano, Texas Road House, Chinnar Indian Cuisine, Little Miss Moffitt and Handel’s Homemade Ice Cream & Yogurt. Beer, wine and bottled water will be readily available.

Live entertainment throughout the day includes appearances by students of the Betsy Daily School of Performing Arts; musicians John McKee, Madeline Knight, Cassidy Keim and Brooke Falls (who sang “God Bless America” at a Phillies game earlier this month); a roving magician; plein air artists; a balloon artist; balloon-pop game for prizes; face painting; and Lauren Schwarz’ fun photo booth.

Although there will be chairs throughout the property, attendees are invited to bring blankets and spread out on Hilltop’s grassy lawns for picnics, play and “just hanging out.”

While roaming the expansive grounds, event-goers will have ample opportunity to visit booths and tables of a host of sponsors and vendors, ranging from handmade jewelry creators to fitness and health care providers and more.

Taste of Berwyn is first and foremost a fun day, but the cause it supports — treating people with mental health issues — is, and please pardon the phrase, mind-boggling. It’s no joke that people suffering from mental health issues need to be heard … exactly what Daemion has been doing in Berwyn for the last 48 years.

A few months ago, we wrote that the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association (a federation of 36 Blues) that found depression diagnoses among their members have rocketed by 33 percent from 2013 to 2016, including a rise of 63 percent among adolescents and 47 percent among millennials.

In addition, a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention finds that suicide is the second highest cause of death for Americans ages 10 to 34.

Anyone doubting the dizzying rise of mental health concerns needs only to look at a few more statistics (as much as I cringe at dwelling on “the numbers”). The following five stats are alarmingly impressive, or depressive, as the case may be:

  1. Mood disorders are the third most common cause of hospitalization for U.S. youth and adults 18 to 34.
  2. Serious mental illness costs the nation almost $200 billion in lost earnings every year.
  3. Approximately 60 percent of adults and 50 percent of youth ages 8 to 15 with a mental illness received no mental health services in the previous year.
  4. One-fifth of all American adults experience mental illness in their lifetime.
  5. More than 300,000 women in Southeastern Pennsylvania have been diagnosed with a mental health condition.

Crunching these numbers, please remember that all proceeds of Taste of Berwyn go directly to offering professional, expert and affordable mental health counseling to those in need throughout the Delaware Valley.

The $5 per adult Taste of Berwyn admission fee (children and those under age 21 are free) seems a small price to pay to help those so great in need. I look forward to seeing you there.