In this 2018 file photo, tables on the pedestrian bridge in Downtown Rome filled up Sunday evening for the One Community United One Table event. The event is meant to help the community heal and bridge divides in areas of racial, ethnic, economic, political, religious, sexual orientation and gender identity.

It’s not every day you’ll see 32 tables under white tablecloths situated end-to-end across the Chief John Ross Memorial Bridge where about 250 guests will be served a four-course meal to bring Rome’s diverse community together.

Come Sunday evening, that will be the scene as the annual One Table Event put on by One Community United continues to work toward solving issues of race and culture that have divided so many communities for decades.

Created three years ago on the premise that the most personal and intimate human connections occur over a meal, those interested in attending had better act fast, One Community United Board Vice President Charles Love said Monday.

“They’d better hurry because there aren’t that many tickets left,” Love said, adding single tickets for $75 and two tickets for $125 can be found at Yellow Door Antiques on 5th Avenue or by giving him a call at 706-290-3437. “It’s been a wonderful even for the past two years and will be again.”

With Civil Rights-era songs from the likes of Peter, Paul & Mary, Marvin Gay, The Temptations, Credence Clear Water Revival and others requested by guests to set the mood, diners also will be treated to motivational quotes and plenty of warm conversations as they enjoy a meatball appetizer, salad, chicken entree and a dessert.

“This event is important to me because we should be able to talk to each other and show our love and respect for each other no matter what divides us,” One Community United President Cheryl Jenkins said Monday. “Everyone is welcome at the table. I’m hoping this will be a symbol of us being able to work together as a community as we learn from each other.”

Funds raised from the event will go toward underwriting the Hearts United Gathering event in February where social justice speakers will be featured.

Formed in March 2015, One Community United was the effort of 22 people “of various hues and colors, various ethnicities and faiths,” according to the organization’s website. “The founding group also consisted of those of all political stripes, Republicans, Democrats, and Independents.”

The group made a commitment to reach into the Hispanic and Indian population, as well, and always remain non-political.

Love and Jenkins wanted to be sure the local businesses and organizations donating their services and food for the One Table event are recognized. They include Harvest Moon, Jamwich, Tucker Farms, Sunflour Community Bakery and Courtyard by Marriott.

Major sponsors include Hardy Realty, Courtyard by Marriott, ACW Landscapes and Redmond Regional Hospital.

“For me, this event and this organization is how I should be living out my life based on my faith,” said Jenkins, a retired school teacher and counselor who still works with young people in the community. “It’s all about love and respect.”


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