Photo essay: Eating for a good cause at the S4BW Hearty Pasta Dinner
Published: Friday, February 27, 2009 - 2:50am
The cheerful clatter of forks and knives, the merry hum of conversing voices, the tide of giggles and the splendid music mingle with the delicious smell of various sauces in the cozy atmosphere. The lights are dimmed and the tea candles on the long red and cream tables glimmer.
Servers Diana Liu and Elizabeth Russell are hard at work at the S4BW Hearty Pasta Dinner. Gargoyle photos by Diana Liu and Katherine Allen (click to enlarge)
THAT WAS THE scene Feb. 13 when close to 100 Uni students, parents, faculty, and family members attended the first Students for a Better World Hearty Pasta Dinner.
The event took place from 6 to 8 p.m. at the First Presbyterian Church of Urbana, 602 W. Green St. All proceeds will go to the American Cancer Society. The charity was suggested by club member senior Karolina Kalbarczyk, who worked for ACS at the organization's Summer High School Research Program.
Senior Rachel Hyman, S4BW president, estimated the club raised about $950 for ACS, not including supply fees. Costs were offset by parent donations. Students did all the shopping, cooking, baking, and preparation.
S4BW served three types of pastas: vegetarian marinara, chicken fettuccine alfredo, and a beef baked ziti with a vegetarian option. Hand-tossed salad, homemade garlic bread, punch, and assorted desserts were also available for consumption.
Dinner-goers were serenaded throughout the evening by live music. One of the bands, known as Shoompie, featured students Kareem Sayegh, Clement Dossin, Teddy Zamora, Eddie Diazmunoz, and Carter Hutchens. Shoompie performed rock fusion, a medley of rock and jazz.
Their name comes from the nickname of Dossin's dog and was created for the purpose of participating in the Champaign Park District's March 11 Battle of the Bands, which they have recently qualified for.
"Personally, I think that it's [terrific] to be able to help a great cause by playing music, which is one of my passions," said Dossin, who also performed at the S4BW Ragin' Cajun' dinner last year.
The klezmer band Don't Ask, featuring Uni librarian Frances Harris, also performed at the dinner. They played in the style of the 18th--to-early-20th-century village bands of Eastern Europe.
The previous two years, S4BW had hosted Ragin' Cajun Dinners to benefit Hurricane Katrina victims in Louisiana. Hyman decided to do a different kind of dinner this year, which is why S4BW departed from the Cajun theme.
"Dinners are fun," Hyman said, "both for the attendees and the people cooking, and they're effective fundraisers — people are a lot more willing to donate when they get delicious food and excellent music and company for their money."
S4BW picks three main charities to assist each year via fundraisers — one each at the international, national, and local level. The club covered the international in December with its candygram proceeds, which went to ASHA, a organization dedicated to building schools in rural India.
As for a local charity, S4BW has a bike ride planned for the spring to benefit A Woman's Fund, as it has for the past two years.
MORE PHOTOS: S4BW Hearty Pasta Dinner
The Uni band Shoompie entertains the crowd at the S4BW Hearty Pasta Dinner. Band members, from left, are seniors Carter Hutchens, Teddy Zamora, Clement Dossin, and Kareem Sayegh. Junior Eddie Diazmunoz, not pictured, is the drummer. Shoompie recently qualified for the Champaign Park District's March 11 Battle of the Bands at the Virginia Theatre. Gargoyle photos by Katherine Allen and Diana Liu (click any photo to enlarge and to create your own slideshow)