It was a night of celebration and fun Tuesday at Stone River in West Columbia for the fifth annual Taste on the River. This year’s event also was in memory of one of the event’s founders, Bill Mooneyhan.
Taste on the River benefits the West Columbia Beautification Foundation, and showcases a number of restaurants from across the city. In addition to the variety of food, there was also a silent auction for a number of items ranging from a live magnolia tree and a camping kit to original artwork and rafts to float down the river.
Greater Cayce-West Columbia Chamber CEO Tim James said he always enjoys attending and seeing the familiar faces every year. “When you walk in the doors, you feel like you’re at home. It’s almost like you walk in, and everyone is family,” he said.
The event was packed with a full crowd, but all took a minute to pause near the end of the night to honor Mooneyhan. Steve Cohen and Kathy Whetzel, both of the West Columbia Beautification Foundation, spoke about Bill’s legacy and his involvement in creating Taste on the River.
“He’s talking to me all excited saying we got to do something for the Beautification Foundation because he won this free rental at Stone River. So we came up with the idea to do a Taste on the River and be able to showcase the restaurants West Columbia has,” Cohen said. “Five years later, we end up with the quality of restaurants we have, not being able to just showcase Stone River, but the people of West Columbia.”
Everyone raised their glass to toast Bill. His family was presented with a painting created by a local artist throughout the evening of the event.
More about the foundation can be found at beautifywestcolumbia.org.