Here’s what you missed at Woodlawn Sunday Dinner — soul food, jazz, community and more

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The tables lining 55th Place S were full for the second annual Woodlawn Sunday Dinner. Photo by Kristina O’Quinn for Woodlawn Foundation

On Sunday, October 14th, Woodlawn Foundation partnered with sponsors Medical Properties Trust, Protective Life Corporation and Regions Bank to host dinner at two long tables lining 55th Place South in Woodlawn. With warm weather, delicious food and jazzy tunes, it was a beautiful time for a community gathering.

2nd Annual Woodlawn Sunday Dinner

This was the second year of the event, and tickets completely sold out. Last year, attendees clocked in at around 350, and this year surpassed that with well over 400 people. 

Woodlawn Sunday Dinner is sponsored by great local companies. Photo by Kristina O’Quinn for Woodlawn Foundation

Woodlawn Sunday Dinner Supports Community Growth

Woodlawn Sunday Dinner is an annual fundraiser created by and benefitting Woodlawn Foundation.  The foundation focuses its efforts on breaking the cycle of poverty in Woodlawn and creating a sustainable community where all residents can thrive and contribute.  Woodlawn Sunday Dinner offers a backdrop where people of different backgrounds can share a meal and make new friends.

“We take care of you. When you walk in that gate, you’re our guest.”

Clark Virden of Woodlawn Foundation
Chuck and the Kings played New Orleans Jazz throughout the day! Photo by Kristina O’Quinn for Woodlawn Foundation

A Dinner Party With 400 Of Your (New) Friends 

You know that friend you have that’s really good at hosting dinner parties? The food is amazing, the beer is cold, and they always have the perfect playlist. Well, that’s Woodlawn Foundation. Except they hosted a dinner party for over 400 people and we all became better friends because of it! Oh, and that playlist? That was Chuck and the Kings absolutely rocking that New Orleans Jazz.

What was for dinner? 

Local restaurants came together to serve a dynamite plate of soul food. Photo by Kristina O’Quinn for Woodlawn Foundation

Something new this year: appetizers! The gumbo from Rougaroux was delicious, and Fancy’s on Fifth combined two soul-food classics with pimento-cheese-stuffed-hush puppy perfection.

More than ten local restaurants participated in the event by preparing their favorite soul food dishes.  Little Donkey obliged by smoking a whole hog onsite while Post Office Pies prepared beans and peas.  Fried corn (Dirty Red), potatoes au gratin (Bayles) and amazing greens from Saw’s rounded out guests’ overflowing plates that left barely enough room for Sugartits Kitchen’s cornbread.

Savory eats and delightful sweets. 

After dinner was, of course, dessert! Kenya from Velvet Kake was running the dessert table with her absolutely delicious sweet treats. Big Spoon Creamery even offered their signature ice cream sandwiches to those who hadn’t had enough.

The conversation was lively and fun throughout the event. Photo by Kristina O’Quinn for Woodlawn Foundation

No One Left Hungry 

One thing we can say with certainty is that everyone left Woodlawn Sunday Dinner full of food, community, laughter and friendship. Seeing the way so many different people from Woodlawn and the neighboring communities chatted, laughed and ate together was heartwarming and exciting. Virden, Woodlawn Foundation and the event’s presenting sponsors definitely outdid themselves this year.

“We’ve got sponsors, key stakeholders and residents who normally wouldn’t have an excuse to get together and swap stories and make new friends. This is exactly what we wanted to have happen — for them to come sit down at a communal table, share a plate of soul food, and be surrounded by people. It’s an opportunity for lots of different conversations to take place.” 


Woodlawn Sunday Dinner was a great success for Woodlawn Foundation and the Birmingham community. Photo by Kristina O’Quinn for Woodlawn Foundation

Check out the full details of the Woodlawn Sunday Dinner here, and be on the lookout for next year’s event. 

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