Stepping up to the plate

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  • For richer or poorer - Joanne Wohlmouth, chairwoman of the Diocese of the Roman Catholic Church?s Peace and Social Justice Committee, is encouraging people to come to the Rich Person, Poor Person Dinner in support of local charities. (Photo by Akil Simmons)

    For richer or poorer - Joanne Wohlmouth, chairwoman of the Diocese of the Roman Catholic Church?s Peace and Social Justice Committee, is encouraging people to come to the Rich Person, Poor Person Dinner in support of local charities. (Photo by Akil Simmons)


It’s dinner with a twist.

You buy a meal ticket for $120, but aren’t told whether you are getting the kind of food eaten by poor people around the world or a three-course meal fit for a king, until you arrive at the event.

The Rich Person, Poor Person Dinner is an annual fundraiser organised by the Peace and Social Justice Committee of the Diocese of the Roman Catholic Church. It is taking place tonight from 7pm in the Harbourview Room of the Hamilton Princess.

Eighty percent of guests will be asked to eat a buffet-style helping of garbanzo and lentil bean curry, with boiled rice and peas the poor person’s meal.

The remaining 20 percent of patrons will be treated to a multi-course meal, served by a waiter and expertly prepared by Hamilton Princess’ head chef Thomas Frost representing a rich person’s dinner.

The appetiser course will include crisp hearts of baby romaine lettuce, codfish cake croutons and parmesan confetti, topped with Hamilton Caesar dressing.

The entrée will include a princess garden-herb-marinated chicken breast, with smoky tomato fondue, mascarpone whipped pumpkin, potatoes and a fresh vegetable medley.

All guests are treated to a dessert buffet after the meal, filled with local and international sweets.

Not knowing which meal you’ll be privy to until the night is part of the fun, said committee chairperson Joanne Wohlmuth.

She said it’s the third time the Peace and Social Justice Committee has held the popular event and believes it gives people a small taste of the disproportion of rich to poor people in the world.

“The whole idea is to give people that experiential feeling of the whole concept of poverty versus wealth.

“Usually at the table when only two people are getting the rich meal and eight people are getting the poor meal, the rich people end up feeling a bit uncomfortable and end up wanting to share their meal with everyone else. It’s uncanny how it works, but people really get it.”

Ms Wohlmuth said the event was worth every penny, with proceeds going to charity Big Brothers Big Sisters and the St Vincent De Paul Society’s single parent family fund.

The dinner draw at the start of the night is typically “fun and entertaining”, she said, adding that most people leave feeling satisfied with the quality and quantity of food.

In addition to the meal, Sister Judith Rollo will give a presentation on the global impact of human trafficking; attorney Michelle St Jane will speak about local women’s issues and how they impact the wider community.

Guests will also hear from filmmaker Tim Darrell who will show clips from his current documentary project on women in Bermuda.

If that’s not enough, local band Working Title with Lamont Robinson have donated their time and will serenade guests with a mix of contemporary tunes. Patrina O’Connor, also known as radio personality Power Girl Trina, will be the master of ceremonies for the night.

Ms Wohlmuth said: “I think people first of all see [the price of] $120 for a ticket and think ‘All that for this event?’, but we pay that basically whenever you go out for meals anywhere.

“With this event you are going to be fed mentally, physically and spiritually. So the price you pay for that is pennies I think in comparison [to what you get out of it].”

She continued: “People come and I have not had any negative comments about the event. People always say the poor meal is great and rich people always smile because they got the pick of the litter in terms of the draw.

“They enjoy the band and the speakers are always excellent. [It’s educational in that] the issues give them something to think about and allows them to look at the world in a different way in regards to social justice treatment.”

Tickets can be purchased online until 2pm today, www.bdatix.bm. Alternatively they can be bought from All Wrapped Up in the Washington Mall and Fabulous Fashions in the Heron Bay Plaza.

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Published May 4, 2012 at 9:44 am (Updated May 4, 2012 at 9:44 am)

Stepping up to the plate

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