Corbin and London’s Rotary International clubs will be joining together for the 10th consecutive year to host the Rotary International Dinner in an effort to help the organization eradicate polio, worldwide.
This year’s dinner will be held at The Arena in Corbin at 7 p.m. on March 23.
Joe Caldwell, one of the event organizers, said volunteers will be working to prepare food from more than 20 countries around the globe.
“About 16 is the most we have ever had,” Caldwell said.
Countries represented this year include: Chile, Italy, China, Greece, England, The Philippines, Switzerland, Dominican Republic, Mexico, Cuba, Germany, Ireland, India, Pakistan, Ghana, Malaysia, Kenya, Lithuania, Poland, Scotland and the United States.
Ticket sales have been limited to 500.
“Between the two clubs, we have sold more than 350 tickets, so far,” Caldwell said, adding that if the clubs sell the 500 tickets, would generate $12,500 toward the effort with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation donating $2 for each $1 the dinner raises.
While tickets are available from any Corbin or London Rotary Club member, Caldwell said the Arena box office does have 100 tickets that may be purchased at the venue in advance.
“Tickets may be available at the door if there are any remaining,” Caldwell said.
Tickets are $25 each.
Caldwell said it is not too late for any individual, business or organization that would like to prepare food for the event to do so.
Even if a particular country is already represented, Caldwell said more offerings are welcome and encouraged.
Doors to the event will open at 6:30 p.m. with service beginning at 7 p.m.
The food is served buffet style, with guests going up to each country’s table and taking the offerings they would like.
“You can sample all of them or as many as you want to,” Caldwell said. “You can go get a second plate and even a third plate if you like.”
“We serve until everybody is fed and/or we run out of food,” Caldwell said noting the event typically ends about 9:30 p.m.
Musical entertainment will be provided as well.
Tables of eight may be reserved for anyone who would like to at a cost of $250.
All proceeds go to Rotary International’s efforts to eradicate polio.
Caldwell said there remains two countries reporting new cases, Afghanistan and Pakistan.
“So far this year, there have been three cases reported in the first two months,” Caldwell said, noting that approximately 20 new cases were reported in 2017 and 71 in 2016.
Caldwell explained that in Pakistan there has been several instances where volunteers and doctors have been killed because someone believed they were trying to do something more than administer the vaccine to a child.
“Once health officials say there are no reported cases, the countdown begins. If there are no reported cases over a three-year period, the disease is considered to have been eradicated,” Caldwell noted.