Kirksville Rotary Club

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The Kirksville Rotary Club hosted its Taste of the World fundraiser Nov. 1 at the Newman Center.

Taste of the World is the organization’s principal fundraiser and is estimated by organizers to have raised about $5,000 this year, with more than 190 people in attendance.

The Rotary Club uses the money raised at Taste of the World for a variety of local and international projects – from upkeep of the local Rotary Park to fighting polio around the world.

Event vice-chairJason Hunsicker says the event was created so Rotary members and Kirksville citizens can enjoy wine and international cuisine while hearing more about the club’s missions and goals.

This year’s menu, catered by Sodexo, featured meat carving stations, appetizers, desserts and coffee from three different areas of the world – Argentina, Italy, and the Pacific Rim, event chair Dan Hamlet says.

In addition to dinner, the event featured cocktails, a performance from a cappella group True Men, a raffle and a speech by Ray Klinginsmith – a previous Rotary International president – about the club internationally and locally.

Taste of the World also had a table-decorating contest. Prior to the event, each group was given a country to represent and told to decorate their table to reflect that country, Hamlet says. Participants at the Germany table wore lederhosen, an Italy table guest wore a toga, and one member of the winning table, Scotland, dressed as Nessie, the Loch Ness Monster.

Another part of the event’s purpose is to showcase Rotary’s international goals, club member Glenda Hunt says. She says members of Kirksville Rotary Club have been around the world on service projects.

“My husband actually went to Belize through a Rotary Club project to fit hearing aids, and actually changed the laws on osteopathy in Belize through the connections they made through Rotary in a foreign country,” Hunt says.

Hamlet says he hopes the event will continue for many years, since it is a fun way to bring together the club’s love for both local and international service. Hamlet says it will most likely be taking place next year around the same time.

“Put it on the calendar for next year,” says Hamlet. “It’s a lot of fun.”