Dryden Community Center Cafe Grand Opening to Benefit Local Food Pantries

The public is invited to bring a non-perishable food item to Dryden Community Center Cafe's Grand Opening on Friday, March 28 to benefit three local food pantries: Dryden Kitchen Cupboard, Freeville Food Pantry and McLean Community Church.

"We feel having the local food pantries benefit from our Grand Opening is a perfect way to celebrate the sense of community the cafe represents, while helping out a most worthy cause," said Monica Knight, cafe vice president. "This is just one of many ways in which we intend to contribute to the community."

Grand Opening festivities will begin at noon with a symbolic ribbon cutting ceremony attended by Dryden village and town officials, followed by a variety of kids' events from 4 to 6 p.m., including a coloring contest, face painting and sports team sign ups; after school teen music from 3 to 5 p.m., and the Ithaca New Orleans Dixieland Band from 7 to 9 p.m. Throughout the day there will be hourly coupon giveaways for free food items. Food and beverages specials will include free coffee samples, $1 ice cream cones and "lottery cupcakes" (buy a cup cake and if yours has a cream filling, you win a free combo meal).

Dryden Community Center Cafe represents a significant step toward what organizers, members and donors hope will contribute to a reawakening of Dryden Village's Main Street, by creating a place for people to sit back, relax and enjoy good food and drink, local musicians on the stage, local artists on the walls and an eclectic calendar of community member- organized events. The goal has been to create a casual, comfortable and friendly atmosphere. This gathering place for the community will also provide free WiFi access in a computer-friendly environment.

Dryden Community Center Cafe is located at 1 West Main Street, in Dryden Village. The cafe menu offers specialty coffees, roasted locally by Coffee Mania, paninis, salads, soups, ice cream and freshly made in-house treats. Cafe hours are Wednesday through Saturday, 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., Sunday 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.