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All Together Now Inc. worked with area practitioners of the Baha'i faith recently to give the town the chance to get to know this group better.
Spending time in conversation with area Baha'is, together with the program on the faith led by Barbara Geisey with support from James Geisey, provided an evening filled with conviviality and learning.
Other partners for the event were Jack Hurd, who welcomed the community to the Kent United Methodist Church on behalf of the Rev. David Palmer. "I'm a longtime member of this church in part because it is so supportive of community events such as these," said Hurd. He went on to play the piano throughout the evening.
Fresh flowers were everywhere, thanks to Kent Floral. The Rev. Eddie Renfroe, president of the Portage County chapter of the NAACP, said the blessing.Because the program preceded the dinner, quantities of pumpkin bread were donated by Baked in the Village Caf to stave off hunger.
Under the leadership of longtime dinner matriarch Margie Stahl, students from Kent State University greeted attendees and handled all kitchen duties, including the cleanup. Cleanup included washing the pie pans, which had held apple pies made by Ravenna's Maplewood Career Center youth. The apples came from Beckwith's Orchard in Kent, courtesy of City Bank Antiques. Kent's NobleImages providedphotojournalist Sam Verbuleczso that the event would be documented for posterity.
community dinner 1 - The aim of the Kent Community Dinner is to bring people from different cultures and religions together in a comfortable environment to grow closer as a community and learn from each other.
community dinner 02 - Volunteer Yo Landa Li helps guest Luba Gauur with a nametag.
community dinner 03 - Caitlin Sears and Emily Arauz, volunteers from Kent State University, cut pies for dessert.
community dinner 04 - Pianist Jack Hurd shows 3-year-old Lillyan Lloyd and her friend, Jim Deluzia, how to play chopsticks on the piano.
community dinner 06 (3) - Barbara Geisey, board member of All Together Now Inc., breaks a loaf of bread donated from Andrea Berry of Baked in the Village Caf in Kent, symbolizing coming together.
community dinner 07 (3) - Dr. Robert Stevenson, board member of All Together Now Inc., stands with Deborah and Roland Sanders.
community dinner 08 - Friends and families gathered from all over Kent for the potluck Community Dinner.
community dinner 09 - Three-year-old Lillyan Lloyd fills her plate at the potluck event.
community dinner 12 - Hamid Farzan of Tehran discusses religious persecution in his native country with Emily Law and Estella Allun of Hong Kong. Those who practice Baha'i in Tehran are not legally allowed an education on any level.