October 25 | By Scott Mauro
Shouldn’t every Monday at work start off with good food, good friends and a great message of hope? It certainly wasn’t hard to convince students and professional staff members at the UCF Recreation and Wellness Center otherwise as they ate bite after bite of home cooked food earlier this week. More than 60 people enjoyed 25 dishes and desserts from different countries during the UCF Recreation and Wellness Center’s annual Lunch Around the World to support the UCF United Way campaign.
Each year UCF students, faculty and staff are invited to walk around a conference room at the RWC and sample dishes made by student and professional staff from departments within Student Development and Enrollment Services (SDES), International Affairs and Global Strategies (IAGS), and UCF Political Science. Each person who attends votes for the top two dishes of the event.
Rich Sloane, Community Relations Coordinator for the College of Education and Human Performance and Chair of the UCF United Way, attended and spoke at the lunch and says an event like Lunch Around the World goes a long way to help people in need, “One of the biggest challenges of the UCF United Way Campaign is getting the word out about the importance of each and every contribution, no matter how large or small it may be. Events such as Lunch Around the World hosted by UCF RWC bring the United Way message to individuals at the working group level, where support for the campaign is the greatest. Thanks to UCF RWC for leading the way and showing others how it’s done!”
The list of dishes came from all over the globe including the Bahamas, Caribbean, Italy and different regions across the United States.
The winners of the best dishes included Brown Rice Pudding by Lauren Schoepfer Marketing Lead at the RWC and Raspberry Chocolate Mousse. Mari Milenkovic, Marketing Coordinator at Wellness and Health Promotion Services made the mousse and says she loved the community aspect of the event, “The impact was even greater this year when staff across the division was able to participate by making the event part of Commit to Be Fit (SDES Staff Wellness Challenge) in an effort to promote social wellness. It was great to see so many come together and share a signature dish while supporting a great cause.”
Tammy Clelland from the Heart of Florida United Way spoke at the Lunch Around the World on 2-1-1, which is the information and support line for the United Way. 2-1-1 is free, confidential and operators are available around the clock to help provide vital financial assistance and crisis support to callers.
Clelland also talked about the United Way’s call to action in the wake of the Pulse Shooting in Downtown Orlando in June 2016. The One Orlando Fund is one way UCF employees can designate their donations. The Live United website has information on how to designate your gift during the last week of the campaign.
Most of the people attending enjoyed the opportunity to learn more about each other and the campaign. UCF Executive Director of Recreation and Wellness, Jim Wilkening says he looks forward to the event every year for a couple of reasons, “Lunch Around the World, an event that brings awareness to the United Way Campaign, has become an annual event that highlights social wellness. Food, fun, and fellowship are highlighted by this collaborate event.”
For more information on the campaign and how you can give or designate your dollars contact the campaign manager at firstname.lastname@example.org or go to liveunited.ucf.edu. To see more pictures from the event check out the Live United Flickr feed.