MARIETTA — The 16th annual international dinner hosted by the Marietta Morning Rotary Club was a huge success on Saturday.
The event took place at the Marietta Shriners Club. Guests were able to sample food from around the world and purchase different items at the World Bazaar silent auction, while benefiting from literacy projects in Washington County.
There were over 10 different countries represented at the food portion of the event, but the global bazaar contained items donated by community members with connections to many others.
Community members who come from other countries or first generation family members have set tables with authentic cultural dishes for guests to try. An example being Nicholas Newman (participant with his wife Casey) who is from Switzerland.
Newman had his table decorated with cows, his country’s flag, and he and his wife were dressed in traditional attire.
“Switzerland is very mountainous, so there weren’t many crops that could be grown there, hence the importance of table cows,” he said.
The Brown Swiss cattle breed originated in Switzerland, and Newman explained that many traditional dishes revolve around beef and cheese.
“I didn’t prepare cow’s tongue for tonight, but it’s a popular and delicious meal”, he said.
He prepared zopf (a Swiss sweet bread), Schinkegipheli (a croissant with cheese, ham and mustard) and gurkasalat (a cucumber salad).
“I’m happy to see so many countries represented,” said Christy Burke, president of the club.
This event was started and continues to be hosted by club member Khadine Ritter, originally from Panama.
She wore a gala pollera that once belonged to her mother, paired with a Tembleque (a headdress) and painitas (decorative jewelry).
“The dress is very expensive (thousands of dollars can be spent on a complete outfit), so each family normally only has one,” she says.
The dress is handmade and each stitch is a different design.
According to Ritter, all proceeds are used to provide a dictionary for all third-grade students in the area, to help fund and continue to stock the Boys and Girls Club reading room, and to fund summer reading camp. at Marietta College.
“We have several new countries this year, which is a welcome edition to the event,” Ritter said.
After visiting Ritter in Panama, attendees were able to travel to Thailand, where friends Nerachar Homnium and JeaJun Kongsap Carver had cooked steamed rice and creamed chicken, sautéed pork with hot basil served with rice and Pad Thai coconut milk.
Other countries represented included India, Belgium, Sweden, England, Russia, Guatemala and Palestine.
Many families wore traditional clothing, brought heirlooms, and told stories of their homes to those who wished to learn.
Event chef Ana Staudt, 18, has spent the last year in culinary school learning to cook different dishes related to her Guatemalan heritage.
Staudt was adopted at a young age and wanted to reconnect with her roots.
“We actually contacted a former foster family that took me in when I was a baby and they were able to find my birth mother,” she says. “Now we (Staudt and his adoptive family) are ready to go and visit him for the first time later this year.”
The club is always looking for new members to join at any time and has stated that they do not have to be residents of Marietta.
The Marietta Morning Rotary Club was established on September 30, 1991 with 33 members. As a humanitarian service organization, it is focused on meeting the needs of the community here in Marietta, Washington County, the Central Valley of Ohio, and internationally as well.
Programs are both local and wide-ranging, and encompass a wide variety of local concerns such as hunger, health, economic development, youth development and education.
The goals are to advance the interests of Marietta and the Mid Ohio Valley region, to stay informed of local, national, and international political, economic, and social issues, and to serve the community, including:
* Connections to Mid-Ohio Valley Leaders
* Prestige of belonging to a global organization
* Ongoing practical training
* Higher ethical standards in your business, organization, profession or personal life
* Participation in projects to improve Marietta, Washington County and the entire Mid-Ohio Valley region.
The Marietta Morning Rotary Club is a group of approximately 40 men and women from business, industry, education and professional vocations. They meet at Jeremiah’s Coffee House, 175 Front St. in downtown Marietta every Friday at 7 a.m. for breakfast and fellowship.
The mailing address is: Marietta Morning Club, PO Box 206, Marietta, OH 45750
Rotary clubs are organized into districts and the Marietta Morning Club district is 6690. For more information about our district, go here: www.district6690.org
Madeline Scarborough can be reached at [email protected]