LEWISTON — Hoping to do something to promote a kinder, more respectful tone in social media and the Lewiston-Auburn community, Heidi Sawyer is organizing a community potluck supper.

It’s for Lewiston-Auburn residents “and anyone who loves our community,” she said.

It’s free. Those attending are asked to bring a dish to share “and a smile,” she said.

The Breaking Bread, Breaking Barriers potluck supper will be held from 4 to 6 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 25, at Lewiston Middle School. The Lewiston School Department is allowing its use at no cost.

Sawyer, of Lewiston, is founder of the Lewiston Rocks Facebook page and an activist for community spirit. On her page she wrote, “clear your schedule, grab your friends and make an amazing dish to share (please also label your foods to address any food allergies). Let’s put all the baggage behind us and come together as fellow community members.”

For a long time, Sawyer said Monday, she’s wanted to have something “where people from all walks of life could get together and just be, to get to know each other.”

There are a lot of events in Lewiston-Auburn, but most are designed for or attract a certain population. 

“I wanted something where everyone in the community would come together to meet their neighbors, share food and enjoy each other’s company,” she said.

Too many negative and insulting comments aimed at others who don’t have similar beliefs, especially in social media, have been happening a lot and all of the unpleasantness takes a toll, Sawyer said.

“People are frustrated,” she said. “Everybody’s feeling the stress; everybody is stating their opinions” and finding reasons to dislike or disagree with individuals or comments.

“I want to give people something to look forward to, something positive. This isn’t going to change the world, but it’s something they can do to find some happiness, some joy,” she said.

Smiles and kindness are often contagious, and so are frowns and anger, she said.

“The more we see the ugliness, the more we focus on it,” Sawyer said. There needs to be more focus on what’s right, and on how people have more in common with each other, she said.

Recently, Sawyer said she’s noticed more people are speaking about the lack of civility and demanding change.

“I think the tide’s turning,” she said. “Hopefully, this is one way we can turn the tide in our home community, that everybody — it doesn’t matter who you are and where you come from — brings something to the table.”

Sawyer said she hopes the middle school cafeteria “will  be full” with about 200 people.

As far as food dishes, “I hope to see French cuisine, Somali cuisine, Asian cuisine, American cuisine. I want to see it all. I want people to bring dishes that they love,” Sawyer said.

On her Lewiston Rocks Facebook page, she said, “We’ve only had one negative comment.”

Many are excited and eager to jump on board, she said.

She hopes some businesses will donate door prizes or food, the food for those who can’t afford to buy food to make a dish.

She’s working on door prizes and activities. A local artist will provide coloring for children, and the 21st Century Club of Lewiston High School plans to provide youth activities.

There won’t be any political discussion, Sawyer said.

What: Breaking Bread, Breaking Barriers, a community potluck supper for Twin Cities residents.

When: 4 to 6 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 25

Where: Lewiston Middle School, 75 Central Ave.

FMI: https://www.facebook.com/events/694466184046697/

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