Joseph Maino, The Fernley Reporter
“What else don’t we put on the dinner table?”
Children attending Toni Suttie’s Manners and Etiquette classes at Journey Community Church and Rilassa’s restaurant always had answers for every question.
As a casting director involved in modeling, acting, advertising, TV and movies, Suttie gets emails from Fernley parents asking how to teach social skills and etiquette to their children.
“I saw that there was a really big need for manners and etiquette,” Suttie said. “Good manners can take you so far in this world. Being respectful to your parents and to your teachers and having an opportunity to respect your elders and people that have disabilities.”
The two-day, four-hour program started at the Journey Community Church, where the children learned about the 30 most important manners for kids to know, including saying “please and thank you,” how to reach out to people who do not have friends, how to write thank you letters for gifts they receive and to look at people when talking to them.
Chris Hohnholz, who heard about the classes on Facebook, attended with his two sons, Derek and Evan.
“Manners are sorely lacking today,” Hohnholz said. “Manners help us show respect for each other.”
Rilassa’s restaurant was the site for the Fine Dining part of the education. Rilassa’s restaurateur Bobby Christy discussed table settings and how to use the silverware.
“When using silverware always start from the outside and go in. For example, on your left you first have your salad fork, then your dinner fork while on your right, you have your soup spoon, dessert spoon and knife,” Christy said.
James Cox, a waiter at Rilassa’s said, “I think this is a great idea. I remember when I was a kid, probably 7-8 years old, my Dad sat me down for my first table etiquette. He was strict. He was an old marine.”
The first course was a tomato bisque. That was followed by the main course of pepperoni and cheese flat bread. The meal concluded with gelato.
The children asked questions like, “Can ladies wear hats at the table?” When can I wipe my mouth? and “What do I do if I need to spit something out?”
A Manners and Etiquette Certificate was given to the each child at the completion of the course.