Afternoon Tea: $15 Saves the Sight of Nine

When the co-owner of a restaurant co-chairs a food event, you know the food is going to be yummy. Anne Fikaris (center) co-owns, with husband Danny, two eateries on Nassau Street – Zorba’s Grill and Zorba’s Brother. Fikaris and her cohorts (Susan Davelman, left, and Ulanda Frisbee, right) are putting on an Afternoon Tea on Sunday, April 25, at 2 p.m. It’s at Princeton United Methodist Church (yes, that’s my church, the one at the corner of Nassau & Vandeventer). The $15 ticket benefits PUMC’s mission to support the United Front Against Riverblindness in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Call 609-924-2613 for reservations or just show up.

The tea is one of several events to support the church’s mission trip to help UFAR. They include a May Day 5 K Race on May 1 at Princeton Theological Seminary, a solo handbell concert at the church on Saturday, May 15, at 7 p.m. and a community-wide African Soiree on Saturday, May 22, at Princeton University’s Carl A. Fields Center, complete with authentic African food, music, and entertainment ( Tickets for the Soiree are $50 ($25 for students).

Riverblindness starts with a rash and leads to sight loss. More than one-third of the 60 million people in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) are at risk of contracting this socially disruptive disease, which takes two lives, the life of the parent who goes blind and the life of the child who must care for the parent. The drug for riverblindness is provided free by Merck & Co., and UFAR is having remarkable success in getting the drug to where it is needed and ensuring that every person takes the drug once a year for at least 10 years.

In fact, every $15 ticket sold will keep nine people from going blind. “In addition to helping a wonderful cause, it will be an interesting and fun-filled afternoon,” says Fikaris. The chamber orchestra from Rutgers Preparatory School, directed by Robert Saunders, will play, and church women will give international cooking demonstrations. Jie Hayes will make a steamed Chinese fish dish, Kathleen Garber will make an English trifle. Susan Victor will demo an Indian Chapatti & Channa dish, and Jamie Huang will make sesame noodles and vegetables. Plus of course delicious teacakes and cookies will accompany the tea.

I can’t wait to taste the baklava. Perhaps I’ll see you there?

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