Volunteers and staff of Helping Hands of Ennis are preparing for its annual fund-raiser, which is the biggest and most involved of the year the "Taste of Ennis."

The event, which is in its 15th year, features an opportunity for local restaurants to prepare bite-size samples of various dishes for the community to savor and is a favorite in the community.

"So far we have about 20 restaurants signed up to participate and the list keeps growing," said Rose Cervantes, chief event organizer and Helping Hands Center director.

The event is so popular because of the diversity in food that is offered.

"If someone just wanted to come and eat desserts, we will have those or if someone just wanted Mexican food, we will have that too. We offer people the opportunity to sample a little of everything and we are sure everyone will find something they like," Cervantes said.

In addition to the event, Helping Hands is also selling 150 tickets for a 37 inch flat screen television at a cost of $20 per ticket.

Proceeds for the event, up to $1,600, will be matched by the Thrivent Financial for Lutherans group. Helping Hands can earn the matched funds with at least six Lutheran families volunteering to work at the event.

"We are certain that the funds will be earned again this year because of the wonderful volunteers we have. Our volunteers put the 'fun' in fund raiser," said Jo Wesley, Helping Hands Executive Director.

The evening of tasty treats will be held Sept. 27, at the Knights of Columbus Hall, 850 S. I-45 from 6 - 7:30 p.m. Tickets for the event are $10 and children under 6 eat free. Tickets may also be purchased at the door.

Due to the many participants, Helping Hands has asked for no take-out plates. For more information on the event, or for tickets, contact Helping Hands at (972) 875-0218.

Helpings Hands was established in 1988 as a way to help families in the Ennis area who were experiencing a time of crisis. The organization helps meet needs by offering, food, clothing and shelter when needed.

In 2006, Helping Hands served more than 1,600 clients and continues to meet the needs of the community with the help of donations. To donate or to become a volunteer, contact the center or visit the center's Web site at www.hhennis.org.