Posted Thursday, November 2, 2017 @ 5:46 PM
One thing that brings a community of people together is a good cause and free food. That was the UCF Recreation and Wellness Center’s annual Lunch Around the World intention was to raise awareness and support for UCF’s Live United campaign in October. Everyone who attended was given a pledge card for the campaign.
Annually UCF staff and students prepare global and regional dishes for invited students, faculty and staff to sample at the RWC. This year the memorable and tasty dishes included Mexican Chicken Enchiladas, Korean Kimbap (sushi), Pesto Tortellini from Italy, and Muhogo Wa Nazi, a coastal Tanzanian dish featuring cassava, chicken and coconut milk. Desserts included Brazilian brigadeiro, Scandinavian almond cake and Chocolate French Silk mini-pies. Everyone had a chance to vote for best dish and best dessert.
The overall winner and best dessert was the Chocolate French Silk mini-pies prepared by Kali Cook, an athletic training graduate assistant at the RWC. Two dishes tied for the best entrée, Bacon Macaroni and Cheese made by Shane Land, assistant director of RWC Intramural Sports and Meatballs by Michelle Fitzgerald, assistant director of RWC facilities.
Rich Sloane, community relations coordinator for the College of Education and Human Performance and chair of the UCF United Way campaign, attends the luncheon every year and says its goes hand and hand with UCF’s mission, “Events like UCF’s RWC Lunch Around the World exemplify the university’s spirit and commitment to partnership and our community. An exotic buffet of international dishes prepared by RWC staff members lends a universal flavor to support of those in need and is a unique example of advocacy that generates broad support for the Live Untied Campaign. Lunch Around the World sets the example for UCF’s support of Live Untied.”
Joanne McCully, assistant to the RWC executive director, is a longtime United Way advocate and the co-chair of the RWC Philanthropy Committee, and says the event started in 2013 and is something everyone looks forward too, “The concept was to give everyone a first-hand look and taste of food from other countries. To unite as one for the good of the whole. It’s our chance to talk about the Live United program in October, hand out pledge cards, and encourage people to give. It was so successful and loved by all that first year that everyone looks forward to the next year. It is one of our best events.”
Sherri Monroe, executive director of American Red Cross Central Florida Region, spoke at the lunch and gave attendees an update on the hurricane relief efforts after Harvey, Irma and Maria in Puerto Rico. She also talked about the Red Cross’ partnership with the United Way Campaign and its services for our military veterans. Patty Huizing, a loan executive at the Heart of Florida United Way, also spoke about the importance of Live United annual partnership with UCF. More than 440 people have donated to the campaign so far which is more than 50 percent towards the goal of raising $200,000 for United Way partner agencies.
It’s not too late to give and every little bit helps. Just go to https://liveunited.ucf.edu/ and click the blue “Pledge Now” button. Donations are payroll deductible and you can pick and choose an agency or cause near and dear to your heart.