The Good Neighbor Community Center in Lincoln, Nebraska has sponsored its major fundraiser, Samples of the World banquet, since 2009. During this gala event, foods are prepared from a variety of countries representing the diverse population of Lincoln and the clients served. According to executive director Tom Randa, this year’s event featured representatives from 14 different countries serving native foods, resulting in more than $17,000 raised by diners, donors and sponsors.

“This event brings together clients, who want to give back to the Center, volunteers, community partners, sponsors and people looking to try different foods,” Randa said.

Noting that the banquet requires a great deal of coordination, Randa expressed appreciation to members of College View and Piedmont Park churches, AdventSource, Union College staff and students, Talent Plus and many others. The Kansas-Nebraska Conference also sponsored a table.

The Lincoln GNCC has been providing free food, clothing, ESL and computer classes, furniture and other assistance to those in need in the Lincoln community for more than four decades.

Through September of this year, the Center served 5,530 unduplicated individuals and 645 refugees. There have been 155 volunteers who have logged more than 7,959 hours of service.

John Treolo is communication director for the Kansas-Nebraska Conference.