On February 20th, the St. Petersburg, Florida Branch held its first Chinese New Year Banquet in its newly remodeled center. One hundred and thirty-three members, friends and invited guests attended. Dinner was prepared by Hao Wah Catering and members from the St Petersburg Branch. A silent auction was held that produced $1200.00 towards the completion of our residential kitchen.
The afternoon program began with a welcome from the Branch President, Jean Swantish, and a speech from the Regional Management Committee’s representative, Joe Crossfield. Martha Bennet spoke on the Health Recovery Classes held at the center. A history of Chinese New Year and information on the Year of the Rabbit was given by Susan Gerhart. Special guest Raol Simon, the neighborhood association President and Dr. Lance Robbins were recognized.
The majority of the food for the banquet was prepared in our parking lot by a local Chinese caterer, Hao Wah. They came equipped with a portable Chinese kitchen which included two large woks, deep fryer, and portable sinks for clean up. The five-man team cooked each course from fresh ingredients and it was loved by all. See menu, photos, and more…
One member of the branch, George Lacagnina, prepared a King Crab, Lemon Grass and Melon Gazpacho with mint relish and candied lemon wheel. Other members made almond cookies and sugared nuts, and still others prepared the fresh fruit for dessert.
Pork Dumplings and Veggie Spring Roll
: King Crab, Lemon Grass, and Melon Gazpacho with a Mint Relish and Candied Lemon Wheel
Seafood Delight (Shrimp, Scallops, Squid, and Fish) in a Bird’s Nest
Tofu with Mixed Vegetables
Roast Chicken with Shrimp Chips
Chinese Broccoli Topped with Black Mushrooms
Vegetable Lo Mein
Homemade Almond Cookies, Sugared Nuts, and Assorted Fresh Fruit
The Silent Auction had over 30 items donated by our members. These included a hand carved temple soldier and a dinner party prepared by a chef in your home for 4-8 people. Members were asked to donate either a service or an Asian themed item. Proceeds will go toward our new kitchen remodeling.
The banquet took over 2 ½ hours to complete. The food was served by members throughout the program. Everyone commented on the quality of the food and the wonderful time they had as they left. Volunteers had the dishes washed and the center back and ready for classes in two hours. A special thank you goes out to all who made this first banquet a success.