CLARKS SUMMIT — Nearly 30 vendors brought delectable samplings to share with the community as the Rotary Club of the Abingtons hosted the 14th annual Taste of the Abingtons Sept. 30 at the Ramada Inn.
Attendees paid $25 to eat and drink their fill of the sampling assortment.
Gail Cicerini, a committee member of the Rotary Club of the Abingtons, said “People think of this as a nice community event. They come, have dinner and see their friends and neighbors.
“We try to bring in new vendors every year, those who are in this community and in surrounding communities,” Cicerini continued. They also feature a few vendors every year through local media who would benefit from the promotion efforts of the Rotarians.
Vendors must show up to the event with tastings for about 300 people. The Rotary club provides everything needed for the event, including tables, chairs, linens, flower arrangements, signage and PR, as well as all paper and plastic products. The only charge to vendors is the food they provide.
The mission of the Rotarians from the beginning has been to selflessly serve the 7410 (northeastern Pennsylvania) district for 89 years. Rotarians everywhere are dedicated to their community, district and international projects that benefit thousands of people. These projects build, support and organize the community to make a better world on the local and global level, as indicated by the organization’s mission statement.
At its core, the annual Taste of the Abingtons event is dedicated to the local community and the people therein. The love and passion that goes in to every aspect of this event was evident in its execution and in the hearts of those organizing it.
To this affect, Cicerini acknowledged, “At this event, we really get to socialize and see everyone who is participating as a vendor but also those in attendance. It’s a big community party.”
“I have always enjoyed the camaraderie at this event; it’s like an old homecoming for a lot of people,” said Rotarian Roger Mattes.
A tasty partnership
Two weeks ago, Chris Calvey, vice president of the Rotary club and owner of Calvey Productions, and Eugene Litz, chef and owner of 13 Olives in Clarks Summit, decided to join forces and products to bring a unique flavor experience to attendees.
The two chefs married their samplings to create a fire roasted tomato bisque that combined Calvey’s habanero puree with 13 Olives garlic olive oil and some avocado crème fraiche. This was one of the tastiest examples of community at the event.
Members of Boy Scout Troop 160, which has been sponsored by the Rotary Club of the Abingtons for more than 75 years, were at the Taste of the Abingtons, lending a hand in simple ways, such as ensuring garbage was taken out and attendees had plenty of water to cleanse their pallets between samplings.
Attendee and Lions Club member Ed Borek passionately noted he attends the majority of the events hosted by the Rotary club and “enjoys them immensely.” He also succinctly described the purpose of the event as being a “bottom-line benefit to the community.”
This event was truly a treat to the senses. The samplings were delectable, the atmosphere set by the musical arrangements of The Mark Nolan Trio was classy and the smiling faces of Rotarians and attendees alike made this the must-attend event of the Abingtons.
Vendors this year were 13 Olives, Iron Hart Brewery, A Little Pizza Heaven, Abbiocco, Bartolai Winery, Ingrid’s, Calvey Productions, Gertrude Hawk Chocolates, Mannings, Constantino’s, The Glenburn Grill and Bakery, Coopers Seafood, Santoro’s (Mendicino’s), Arcaro & Genell, Gerrity’s, Case Quattro Winery, Sunrise Café, The New Café, Tully’s, Krispy Kreme, Stopay Candy, Summit Cigar, Harvest Seasonal Grill & Wine Bar, Nina’s Bites, Zuppa del Giorno, Perkins, Weis Markets and Starbucks.
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