Letter from Jennifer Simpson, Executive Director

Hello, dear friends! All of us at Blue Ridge Partnership for Children are humbled and amazed with the tremendous turnout at this year’s Taste of the Blue Ridge in Burnsville!! Despite the heavy rains and high winds that evening, we were honored that so many in our community came out to support services for young children and families. I hope that you each had fun, enjoyed the delicious treats, and had a ball with the auctions and games, all for a good cause. As we reconcile our final figures, we are excited to announce that we exceeded our goal of raising $20,000 to invest in our 3 targeted programs – Imagination Library, Play & Learn groups, and the Yancey Alliance for Young Children. As the auctioneer Michael Parker reminded us, many times Monday night, “It’s for the children!”  

Imagination Library

We are especially grateful to Jeff Howell and his dad Larry for allowing the community to honor Mrs. Mary Lou  Howell through contributions to Imagination Library. Your gifts will celebrate her memory and continue her dedication to children and literacy for years to come!

Contribute to Mary Lou Howell’s Gift to Imagination Library

Thank You to So Many Wonderful People!

Special thanks to all the fine restaurants and their great staffs for sharing their delicacies with us; to our Presenting Sponsor, Piedmont Natural Gas; to our Author Level Sponsor, Unimin Corporation; to all the donors who offered items for auctions and games; and to the wonderful generous bidders and those of you who made donations for the Imagination Library in Mary Lou Howell’s memory. 

Thanks To Our Great Staff, Board & Volunteers…

I also want to thank our Taste Planning Committee members, our wonderful great staff and board members, and our amazing volunteers, who all worked so hard to make the event a true success. We hope that everyone enjoyed the night, and we look forward to next year’s event on Sept. 17, 2018 when we take Taste of the Blue Ridge to Avery County!   –Jennifer

Thanks to Michael Parker & Crew

We also offer our sincere appreciation to Benefit Auctioneer Michael Parker and his staff for their dedication and hard work in raising money for children’s programs in Yancey, Mitchell & Avery Counties.

Burnsville Town Center

September 11, 2017

The 10th annual Taste of the Blue Ridge is two great things:  Fundraiser to benefit local children’s programs, and a seriously great party! This year it’s at Burnsville Town Center in Yancey County on Monday, September 11 from 5:30pm to 9:30pm.

This year’s theme is Red, White & Denim. The event will feature more than 20 local restaurants, pubs & breweries giving away samples of their best food, wine and beer. Tickets are $25 in advance, $30 at the door.  Master auctioneer Michael Parker will host and emcee the event, which will include a silent auction and a live auction of items donated by the wonderful people of Yancey, Mitchell, Avery and beyond.


Our goal this year is to raise money for three specific programs: Imagination Library, Play and Learn, and the Yancey Alliance for Young Children. All money raised here, stays here, and directly benefits young children and families in the tri-county region.

BRP Facebook

Blue Ridge Partnership for Children extends our heartfelt appreciation to Piedmont Natural Gas, Buck Stove, and all the wonderful sponsors, donors, restaurants and pubs who make Taste of the Blue Ridge a great success!

Win $5,000 gift certificate on brand new, locally made, fully furnished Buck Stove Tiny House!

Blue Ridge Partnership for Children is pleased to have Buck Stove and its new line of signature Tiny Houses as a featured sponsor at Taste of the Blue Ridge benefit auction. This year we are auctioning off a $5,000 gift certificate towards the purchase of a brand new, fully furnished Tiny House built by Buck Stove in Mitchell County. The winning bid will apply to the purchase of any model Tiny House that Buck Stove builds.

Buck Stove Tiny House interiors are well-designed and solidly built. This is the view from the master loft overlooking the kitchen, living area and second loft. The kitchen includes a double sink and full size appliances. The unit ships fully furnished with a sleeper sofa, stacked washer and dryer, and two outside decks with steps.

Savor the Flavor of 2017

The Blue Ridge Partnership for Children is extremely grateful to all the wonderful chefs, restaurant professionals, brewers, caterers and dessert specialists for investing their time, money and resources in Taste of the Blue Ridge.  We could not do this event without such great people in our community!  We encourage everyone to visit these fine local businesses and enjoy the delicious food and drinks they serve.


All funds benefit Blue Ridge Partnership for Children 

A Book Every Month for Every Child 
Parents sign-up their children with Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library and receive a free book in the mail every month from birth until their fifth birthday. Each book is mailed in the child’s name directly to their home. For $30, you can give a child a book every month for a year.  For $150, you can provide books for the first 5 years of a child’s life.

Play & Learn Groups 
Blue Ridge Partnership offers free weekly playgroups throughout Mitchell and Yancey Counties. Children have access to materials for learning, while parents & caregivers can gain support in their role as their child’s first teacher. It also gives children a chance to play together, develop social skills, and enhance language development.

Yancey Alliance for Young Children
The Yancey Alliance for Young Children (YAY Children) works in partnership with local community agencies and individuals, and seeks to ensure the availability and affordability of healthcare, education and parent support services that prepare our young children for school and future life success.

Burnsville Town Center

Taste of the Blue Ridge will be held Monday, September 11 from 5:30pm to 9:30pm inside the Burnsville Town Center, located on South Main Street in Burnsville.


Michael Parker

Taste of the Blue Ridge Auction Hosted by Benefit Auction Specialist Michael Parker from Carthage, NC


Blue Ridge Partnership for Children sincerely thanks all our friends, donors & volunteers who help raise money each year to benefit early childhood programs.