‘A Taste of West Dallas’ Going Virtual

A Taste of West Dallas, an annual event that supports Wesley-Rankin Community Center and participating West Dallas restaurants is going virtual this year with an event at 6 p.m. Nov. 8. The event is co-chaired by two couples, Julie and Duston Burns and Rita and Cleve Clinton. 

Wesley-Rankin Community Center (WRCC) partners with their West Dallas neighbors by providing education and resources to drive community transformation. WRCC consistently identifies challenges in the community and this year the West Dallas restaurants are especially in need of support. 

“Wesley-Rankin’s program objectives haven’t changed with COVID-19 but how we meet the objectives has,” said Shellie Ross, executive director of Wesley-Rankin Community Center. “We have always assessed needs, built systems and provided resources and with COVID-19, the same applies, but the systems are more complex and comprehensive. For example, what was once a meal to a participant is now food security for an entire family unit.” 

The virtual experience takes the audience through the stories and restaurants that mean so much to the West Dallas community, while raising funds for WRCC’s ongoing programs. And every ticket purchase includes a Restaurant Rewards card with special offers for the restaurants to further encourage people to visit once they feel comfortable. 

Participating Restaurants/Caterers are 3015 at Trinity Groves (with Chef Sharon Van Meter), Steam Theory Brewing Company, Saint Rocco’s at Trinity Groves, Locura Dallas, and Frida’s Tacos.

“Duston and I are new to the Wesley-Rankin family and are so impressed with their holistic approach to serving the West Dallas community and adjusting quickly when its needs change,” said Julie Burns, co-chair of A Taste of West Dallas. “Usually an event raises funds to support its own organization, yet we took this a step further in working with participating restaurants to increase exposure for them as well. It’s a full community effort and we are so grateful to be a part of it.” 

With COVID-19, so many events, nonprofits, and restaurants have been just a few of the many industries affected. 

“Cleve and I have been supporters of Wesley-Rankin Community Center for over 40 years and we’ve never seen them re-invent the wheel any more efficiently and effectively than they have in 2020,” says Rita Clinton, co-chair of A Taste of West Dallas. “Offering virtual programs and socially distanced assistance to their entire clientele, from young children to the senior citizens in the West Dallas community, has presented a challenge beautifully met.”

Rachel Snyder

Rachel Snyder, deputy editor at People Newspapers, joined the staff in 2019, returning to her native Dallas-Fort Worth after starting her career at community newspapers in Oklahoma. One of her stories won first place in its category in the Oklahoma Press Association’s Better Newspaper Contest in 2018. She’s a fan of puns and community journalism, not necessarily in that order. You can reach her at [email protected]

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