Hickory – Carolina Caring is delighted to announce the astounding success of its third annual Carolina Caring Foundation Flights and Bites fundraiser, held for the first time ever in Catawba County, at Moretz Mills, Hickory, NC. This year’s event, held on Thursday, April 18th, 2024, raised over $30,000 and nearly doubled the amount raised in 2023.

The Carolina Caring Foundation Flights and Bites, previously hosted in Burke County, was warmly embraced by the Catawba County community, marking a significant milestone in the event’s history. Past events were held at Silver Fork Vineyard & Winery in 2022 and Morganton Community House in 2023, both in Morganton, NC.

Catering for the evening was expertly provided by Cranford Hospitality of Hickory, NC, represented by Zack Cranford and Ben Sullivan. The evening menu featured a taste of each Cranford Hospitality restaurants to include Cranford Brothers BBQ, The Charolais Steakhouse, Granny’s Kitchen, Standard Oyster Company and the soon to be opened Main Chick.  Chef Ben Sullivan, a seasoned professional with over twenty years of experience as a chef and restaurateur in NC curated a magnificent five-course meal paired with exquisite wines. Sullivan, who graduated summa cum laude from Johnson & Wales Charlotte campus, currently serves as the director of culinary operations for Cranford Hospitality in Hickory, NC.

The wine selection for the evening was meticulously curated by Johnson Brothers – Mutual Distributors of Charlotte, NC, represented by Robin Nantz. Nantz, a wine consultant with Johnson Brothers for the past 29 years, brought her expertise to the event, ensuring a delightful pairing with the culinary creations. She holds the Certified Level 2 Wine & Spirit Education Trust certification as well as the Cicerone CBS certification.

“The Carolina Caring Foundation expresses heartfelt gratitude to all sponsors and donors for their generous support, which made our fundraiser a tremendous success,” states Tara Bland, Executive Director of the Carolina Caring Foundation, “We are deeply thankful for the contributions from sponsors, ticket sales, dedicated staff volunteers, and the in-kind donations for our silent auction.”

Funds raised from the Carolina Caring Foundation Flights and Bites will support Carolina Caring’s mission to provide the highest level of hospice and palliative care to all those in need, regardless of their insurance status or ability to pay. The organization remains committed to ensuring that no one is turned away, from infants to adults.

Save the date for next year’s Flights and Bites event to be held on April 10, 2025 as Carolina Caring looks forward to another successful gathering. If you are interested in supporting the Carolina Caring Foundation please visit: www.carolinacaring.org/give


Carolina Caring, founded in 1979, is an independent, community-based, nonprofit healthcare provider. It specializes in programs that offer relief from chronic conditions, serious illnesses, and the challenges they bring, including palliative medicine and hospice care for all ages, primary care and grief counseling. Carolina Caring serves 12 counties across western North Carolina and the Charlotte Region. For more information, please call 828.466.0466 or visit www.CarolinaCaring.org

Photo: Hundreds gather for Flights & Bites, an event to raise money for the Carolina Caring Foundation who supports the work of hospice and palliative care throughout Carolina Caring’s 12-county service area.