The festivities began with performances by the Music From China Youth Orchestra. The second part of the concert was performed by the Chinese American Music Ensemble. There was also a piano solo by Paul DiDario, Willow Grove’s music director.
Over 150 adults and children enjoyed a wide variety of foods from around the world at the dinner following the concert. All food was cooked and donated by members and friends of Willow Grove, including the two Chinese-American groups who performed.
From the money raised, $450 will be donated to provide food for those in need locally through the Scotch Plains Food Pantry. The remaining 75 percent raised at the event plus an additional anonymous donation will allow the church to send two “Shelter Boxes” to Haiti. Each Shelter Box costs $1,000 and includes a 10-person tent, stove and other emergency supplies to help extended families survive in the aftermath of the devastating earthquake.
Those attending had the opportunity to see a tent and other Shelter Box contents displayed courtesy of the Scotch Plains-Fanwood Rotary. For more information about Shelter Boxes go to www.shelterbox.org and also visit Willow Grove’s website at www.willowgrovechurch.org.
According to Willow Grove’s pastor, Reverend Cynthia Cochran-Carney, the International Dinner is an annual event at Willow Grove Church that reflects some of the church’s most important values and commitments.
She said, “Helping neighbors near and far who are in need is central to our faith, so each year we raise money for organizations that provide basic needs of food, shelter and disaster relief. Willow Grove Church has a growing Ministry of Music and the Arts from a variety of traditions and cultures. God has shown us ways we can build bridges of hope and understanding that involve people of all ages making music together. This is the reason we are home to many musical groups and events, including CAME and Music from China.”
The Willow Grove Presbyterian Church is located at 1961 Raritan Road in Scotch Plains, opposite the Scotch Plains Southside Firehouse and near the corner of South Martine Avenue. All church facilities are handicap-accessible.
Photos courtesy of Willow Grove Church
Connect with NJTODAY.NET
Join NJTODAY.NET's free Email List to receive occasional updates delivered right to your email address!