Tamale dinner serves up good eats and helps great cause

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By Tami Hoey By Tami Hoey

PHOENIX -- Who doesn't love a good tamale around the holidays? Now you can satisfy your craving and help a good cause at the same time.

On November 15th, 2014, the 79th Annual Friendly House Tamale Dinner will move into its new event location at The Arizona Center in downtown Phoenix and present an exciting day of family-friendly festival activities.

And on Thursday's Good Morning Arizona, we had a crew here from The Tamale Store to make some tamales to sample.  We also got a preview of what to expect at the upcoming Friendly House Tamale Dinner.

Presented by APS and organized by Friendly House, a Phoenix-based non-profit organization that has proudly served the local community since 1920, their annual Tamale Dinner is the longest continuously running fundraiser in Arizona.

Now with a new location and challenge to expand the event offerings, Friendly House hopes to bring a day of fun to downtown Phoenix from noon to 10pm. "Last year, we ventured into a partnership with 16 Valley Mayors to compete in the inaugural 'Battle of the Tamales,'" says Lourdes Sierra, Tamale Dinner Chair. "This year, we are seeking Mayoral support again, only now with even more entertainment for attendees of all ages."

Event committee members are striving to secure the participation of approximately 12 Valley Mayors, who will each in turn identify a selected hometown restaurant to showcase their tamale offerings to event-goers. These vendors will sell tamales of various types (chicken, pork, beef, etc.) along with side items to attendees. A selected number of restaurants offering unique twists on traditional tamales will participate in the festival as well.

At the event, a main stage will be erected at the corner of 5th Street and Van Buren, facing a large grass area where attendees will be encouraged to lounge all day to watch bands, dance troupes, and other entertainment in between bites of tamales and related Mexican fare.

A beer garden will be set up under a picturesque cluster of trees, adjacent to another large grass area where a majority of the tamale vendors will be positioned. VIPs will enjoy access to a lovely tiered promenade of the Arizona Center, where a private bar, catering stations, and other surprises await.

The Friendly House will raise funds through sales of tickets, beverages, sponsorships, and a portion of tamale sales. Collectively, the money raised from the Tamale Dinner & Festival will provide tools and resources for individuals of all ages that participate in their stellar programs which fall within four pillars:  Education (Helping Children & Adults Succeed in Education), Family Services (Improving Families Health & Wellness), Immigration (Providing Legal Service, Outreach and Advocacy), and Workforce Development (Increasing Financial Stability and Workforce Readiness).

DATE / TIME / LOCATION
Saturday, November 15
12:00 pm - 10:00 pm
The Arizona Center
400 E. Van Buren St.
Phoenix, AZ 85004

TICKETS
General Admission: $12 (includes 3 food & drink tickets)
General Admission Upgrade: $20 (includes 8 food & drink tickets)
VIP: $60 (includes 16 food & drink tickets, and access to VIP Lounge)
Kids 10 & Under: Free (does not include food & drink tickets)
Additional food & drink tickets cost $2 each

PARKING
$5 in the adjacent garage; meters around event site; side street where available

CONTACT
Phone: 602-416-7209
www.TamaleDinner.com
e-mail: tamale@friendlyhouse.org

SOCIAL MEDIA
www.facebook.com/FriendlyHouse1920
www.twitter.com/FriendlyHouseAZ

About Friendly House
Friendly House has proudly served Arizona families since 1920. This pioneer social service organization was founded to help immigrants successfully transition into living in the United States and become viable members of the Phoenix community. Today, this multi-service organization implements wide-ranging programs aimed at addressing the pressing needs of our diverse community. Friendly House intends to build resilient communities that help spur economic development, stabilize neighborhoods, and revitalize our cities.

About APS
APS, Arizona's largest and longest-serving electricity utility, serves nearly 1.2 million customers in 11 of the state's 15 counties. With headquarters in Phoenix, APS is the principal subsidiary of Pinnacle West Capital Corp.

The 79th Annual Tamale Dinner, 100 percent for charity, is one of the longest-running charity fundraisers in the state. Benefiting The Friendly House, proceeds fund education and family services to help immigrant families transition into the U.S.

79th Annual Tamale Dinner & Festival
November 15th, 2014
12 p.m.-10 p.m.

The Arizona Center
400 E. Van Buren St.
Phoenix, AZ 85004

The Tamale Store
602-435-2604

www.thetamalestore.com