Rotary's Global Thanksgiving brought people together for delcious celebration

Shareen Strauss
Bill Cartwright, who started the Global Thanksgiving International Potluck tradition in Dunsmuir in 1992, addresses the people at this year’s celebration, held at the Dunsmuir Community Center, telling them about the origin of this event that brings the community together to share delicacies from their own cultures.

The Global Thanksgiving International Potluck hosted by the Dunsmuir Rotary brought many people together for fellowship and fun on Sunday.

The meal has been a tradition since 1992, when former Dunsmuir Rotarian Bill Cartwright came back from a trip from Spain, hosted by Victor Villasenor.

“This Global Thanksgiving is also celebrated in other cities,” said Cartwright. “It is a wonderful community event that we have been doing annually. There will be a steady flow of people coming all evening. I love this because I get to see everyone in town. They remember be because I bring wild duck or venison.”

Each year about 100 people fill the Dunsmuir Community Center sharing dishes that reflect their ethnic backgrounds. The Rotary cooked seven turkeys, mashed potatoes, gravy and stuffing while people brought side dishes and desserts to round out the feast.

This year, there were at least 25 side dishes and many, many desserts that covered two tables. Some of the most talked about dishes included mango chutney, two summer squash and zucchini baked dishes – one vegetarian and another with meat, barbecued salmon, a roasted cauliflower salad with hazelnuts and pomegranate with olive oil, sherry vinegar dressing with cinnamon and allspice, a ham stew, croissants with chives, dill and cheddar, potato leek soup and home brewed hot tea with blackberry mint.

“Everything was consumed by the end. It was a perfect match,” said Rotarian Susan Keeler.

Billy Mathis brought a fruit salad with pineapple. When asked what her favorite dish was, she said, “I’m an old fashioned girl, I like the turkey, mash potatoes and gravy. There were a lot of good desserts.”

Fred Clarno, a Dunsmuir Rotarian of 14 years said, “This is a wonderful event. Good turnout. It’s great for the community to come together and share.” When asked if there was enough food, he replied, “Too much, I have no room for dessert. I should have started with dessert first.”

People came alone, with friends and in groups. One table sat people from the same street. Another table sat folks from the Dunsmuir drum circle. Others visited with people they did not know before the event.

Paula from the drum circle said the dishes were “all very good ... and I’m an expert.”

Chris Stromsness, who has been a Dunsmuir Rotarian for 51 years, said, “Bill Cartwright did a good thing with he started this.”