Community Invited to annual MLK Dinner

By C.S. Gilbert


Coconut Woman Veronica Stafford is busy as she’s ever been. Florida Keys Community College President Jonathan Guerrera assures that he will be on hand as venue co-host. Thus approaches the festive Martin Luther King, Jr Dinner – the 3rd annual sponsored by the Key West Performing Arts, Inc. and the first to be held in the Cabaret of the Tennessee Williams Theater on the FKCC campus.


The 6 p.m. dinner is, in fact, the eighth such celebration held, but the first five were under the auspices of the Bahama Village Business Association – though still coordinated by Stafford. Her Caribbean catering, it is near universally agreed, sets off salivary glands throughout the Lower Keys.


For this year’s tribute dinner, she reports an appetizer menu of two soups, fish and blackeye peas, plus grits, smoked fish, and assorted breads, including croissants and corn bread. The main course offers chicken — fried, jerk or curried — grio and jerk pork, with pigeon peas and rice, Haitian rice, mixed green salad and cole slaw. For dessert there will be homemade guava cake and coconut and pineapple cake, with guava and coconut ice cream.


Dr. Guerrera, who was a guest of honor last year, having just begun his tenure as president of the college, noted that the event had outgrown Casa Antigua in Old Town, its home for two years after its beginnings at the Bahama Village VFW. He thus graciously offered Stafford and company use of the theater’s lovely lobby/cabaret.


Previous celebrations, with bountiful food provided by Stafford and friends along with local restaurants, have been presented without charge; this year, however, due to publicity and other ancillary costs, admission for the meal and entertainment is $10, Stafford said. Reservations are requested: phone (305) 834-2143 or (305) 509-2328.

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