Rotary Club of Pulaski County hosts international spring BBQ

Marianne Ward Community Service

The Rotary Club of Pulaski County ushered in spring with an All-American Barbeque for Fort Leonard Wood international students at the home of Rotary President Keith Pritchard in Waynesville.

International students stationed at Fort Leonard Wood, their families, Interact Club members from Waynesville Middle School and Waynesville High School and Rotary members and their families gathered around the fire. Sitting on straw bales, picnic tables and lawn chairs, they enjoyed the view of Waynesville and talked about their cultures, shared common experiences, played pool, jumped on the trampoline and drove the host’s four-wheeler. In addition to the barbecue, they also enjoyed ice cream treats donated by Culver’s of St. Robert.

The family-oriented, casual barbecue is very different from what international students see on television.

“A backyard barbecue is a great way for our international students to experience ‘real’ American culture – rather than what they see on t.v.,” says Dr. Virgie Mahan, who co-chairs the Rotary’s international committee. “We hope it starts a new tradition they bring back to their countries.”

More than 20 countries were represented at the event that was attended by more 70 individuals.

The Rotary Club is a philanthropic organization dedicated to improving the community and focuses on programs for local students and internationally on eradicating polio. Anyone interested in joining the organization should contact Keith Pritchard at 573-774-6417.