Local Rotary clubs host vendors for fundraising

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COLUMBIA – People of all ages gathered for food and drinks on Saturday at the Stoney Creek Hotel and Conference Center.


The Rotary clubs of Columbia hosted a fundraising event called CoMo Rotary Kick-Off Cook-Off. Twenty-one food and non-food vendors brought their signature dishes and drinks for the public to try. Tickets ranged from $25 - $30, depending on whether they were purchased online or at the door.


“A lot of different vendors have supported us today to come out and serve some of their food so people can enjoy that and visit with different businesses and some of the non-profits in town.” Tom Rose, president of the Columbia Metro Rotary Club, said.


The Columbia Metro Rotary Club was in charge of the event’s logistics.


“Rotary is an international humanitarian organization,” Rose said, “It’s probably the oldest humanitarian organization in the world.”


Those attending could choose to participate in a raffle, but the main focus was to try food. People were provided two marbles upon entering. These marbles gave them the power to choose their favorite food vendor, as well as their favorite booth theme.


One of the vendors at the event was Jose Jalapeños. They provided authentic Mexican food for people to try.


“We’re sampling some of our house dishes,” Megan Hernandez said. “I have one of my favorites on sight. It’s called Chile Colorado with rice.”


Hernandez and her husband own the restaurant. This is their fourth year participating in the event. She said she enjoys talking with their customers, as well as promoting their food.


“I like that all of the proceeds and what’s going on is going towards a good cause,” Hernandez said. “I like that it involves only the community and people. This is not people that we don’t know. This is our customers that we know and local people.


This year was the first all-Rotary fundraising event, but it was the 4th annual Kick-Off Cook-Off.


“Our main sponsor was MU Health Care,” Rose said in reference to the cook-off. He said the club was very pleased to have them as well as the other sponsors that helped out.


All funds raised at the event will go towards the Rotary clubs in Columbia.