CANTON Some people came for some football, while everyone was there to tackle hunger during the 10th annual Taste of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The event saw the biggest attendance of its history this year with more than 700 people helping to raise money for the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank.
Attendees enjoyed food, desserts, wine and beer from 20 local purveyors including Esber Beverage, The Rail, The Canton Brewing Company, Driftwood Modern American, Main Street Gourmet and many others.
The Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank hoped to raise enough for 760,000 meals. Money was raised through ticket prices, live and silent auctions, raffles and donations.
There were also four Gold Jacket Pro Football Hall of Famers in attendance. Morten Andersen, Dave Robinson, John Randle and Thurman Thomas signed autographs, posed for photos and chatted with guests throughout the evening.
Shelly Hinton, vice president of the Foodbank, said the fundraiser grows every year both in attendance and in money raised.
"This year we’re hoping to raise $190,000 or enough to provide 760,000 meals" Hinton said. "We think this will be the biggest year yet. With the Hall of Fame having a great enshrinement, I think the excitement has carried over to our event. Plus, more and more people are aware of the issues of hunger and want to help."
Thurman Thomas was one of the Pro Football Hall of Famers who was talking with people and signing photos, footballs and helmets.
"This is my first time at this event, I spend most of my time giving back to people through various charity events and functions, it’s what I enjoy doing the most," Thomas said.
To top the evening off, the Enrichment Drum Line danced and played in front of the Hall of Fame. The urban youth performers were aged five through 18.