International House was the scene on Saturday, Nov. 6, 2010, of a delicious Indian dinner. The woman who ran the show was Mary Philip, board member and chef. She is in the habit of producing these huge dinners for worthy causes in Davis. The only catch is — the dinners are as labor-intensive as they are delicious. Mary has a cadre of volunteers that help her but in addition to that we at I-House appealed to several service clubs on campus to come to our aid and they did. The Asian American Association headed by Kimberly Law brought 11 students and Kimberly herself helped at I-House all day long on Nov. 6.
Many thanks go to Kimberly, Anita Mei, Yen Duong, Wingsze Lam, Pamela Pretell, Reina Gatmaitan, April Gatpayat, Diana Nguyen, Anna Ha and Kao Saelee.
Circle K International sent Lisa To and Connie Nguyen. Campus Rotoract sent Samuel Porras, Stephen Hager, Jordan Aldujaili, Richard Troung, Nick Mahasuwan, Eva Pan, Christine Olson and Katie Vega. The list was provided by Rotoract historian, Eva Pan.
“Very simply, we could not have done the job without them,” said Elisabeth Sherwin, executive director.
Cooking for the meal begins on Friday afternoon when onions are cooked and potatoes are peeled. That lays the groundwork for the meal. The next day at 10 a.m. all sorts of volunteers were ready to go. Cooking began in the kitchen while flowers were arranged, the tables were set up in the Community Room and Koen Van Rompay and Max Minai and Kardica began to decorate. Leaves were raked, rugs were vacuumed, glass was cleaned.
At 6 p.m guests began arriving, welcomed by President Calvin Handy. The hot buffet consisted of vegetable dishes, chicken biriyani, raita, samosa, onion fritters (to die for!) topped off by kheer (rice pudding) and cardamon tea.
We had three bartenders Guan Song, Richard Yamagata and Dan Tokanaga. This was a fund-raiser for I-House and we raised just under $3,000.
At the conclusion of the meal, Handy asked the volunteers to come forward and be recognized for their efforts. A few people trickled out of the kitchen, then more, and more until the front of the Community Room was filled with people!
Ana and Benjamin sold bracelets, which raised about $100 and the wine and beer we sold raised $200. In all, it was a wonderful night and thanks go to Mary and everyone who pitched in — not forgetting those who bought tickets to the dinner. As one person observed, it was just like old times when I-House hosted special ethnic dinners. And we’ll do it again.

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