Announcing FLAVOR, a North Canton event to raise awareness and funds for the International Institue

North Canton residents, Christina Weyrick and Joe Rozsa have developed FLAVOR, a fundraising and advocacy event to benefit the International Institute of Akron on May 21 from 6-9 p.m. This gathering, held at The Barrel Room Wine and Beer Bar, will showcase twelve different countries and offer bites of food (two different kinds) from each country to those attending. The event will celebrate the fact that we are all decedents of immigrants and will allow attendees to meet recent refugees, with a goal of raising funds for the International Institute of Akron, which assists refugees and recent immigrants as they integrate into American society.

Together, Weyrick and Rozsa have planned several fundraising and advocacy events in Stark County. Joe works professionally as a graphic designer and is owner/creative director of Site 14 Design. Joe is also a first generation Hungarian/American. His parents fled Hungary as refugees in 1956 during the Hungarian Revolution, a revolt against the government of the Hungarian People’s Republic and its Soviet-imposed policies. Joe frequently speaks about his experience as an entrepreneur and the fact that his success would not be possible had his parents not have immigrated to the United States.

Christina works professionally as community relations manager for the North Canton Public Library. She’s worked for a number of non-profit organizations and has a passion for advocating for kindness and compassion toward all beings.

Out of concern for current refugees and recent refugees who have immigrated to the NE Ohio area, the couple attended an information session hosted by the International Institute of Akron (IIA). They learned about the work the IIA does and that their greatest needs during this 120 day halt on immigration:

  • Sharing true information about the work of the IIA
  • Sharing true information about refugees and immigrants
  • Funds The goal is for FLAVOR to accomplish each of these needs.

“We hosted a Hungarian dinner party for a group of our friends and planned to do some arm twisting to get them to help us with the event, but we found we didn’t have to twist arms. Our friends were looking for a way to help too and were grateful for the opportunity,” Weyrick explained. Through that network they been able to secure several descendants of international origin (some more recent than others) to provide authentic international food tables.

Because the International Institute is located in Akron, many Stark County residents do not realize that they offer refugee resettlement for Stark County as well. We want to build a network of volunteers and advocates who will work with the IIA ongoing. “We’ve already witnessed this happening in our planning,” said Weyrick. “We’ve connected with several immigrants and have watched people come together and learn about refugee resettlement,” she added.

By creating a space to share food and conversation, we hope to build greater solidarity within communities. Information about FLAVOR and tickets to the event ($25 each) are available at flavornorthcanton.wordpress.com.

For additional information, please contact Christina Weyrick at christinaweyrick@gmail.com or 330.715.1557 or Joe Rozsa at joe@site14.us or 330.212.7353.