Archived Story

Jo-Ann Boepple: The gift of generosity

Published 1:35pm Monday, April 4, 2011

Last week I had an opportunity to attend the annual Salad Smorgasbord sponsored by the Edwardsburg Presbyterian Church.

This is an annual passage to spring in Edwardsburg. For the last 40 years the ladies of the church have been making their traditional hot chicken salad and a salad dish that each lady contributes to fill out the menu. The men of the church get involved by serving as waiters.

Over the years, different locations have been used to accommodate the crowd. It started in the church basement and then moved to the American Legion Hall and to the Edwardsburg High School Cafeteria. It has finally found it’s permanent place in the original high school gym.

The changes in locations have been due to the size of the crowd. The maximum seating space in the high school gym is now around 425 to 450 seats. Every table and chair in town is used to provide for the crowd.

If there are more than 400 women in the high school gym, how many women are left at home? Not many. Of course not all of the women who attend are from Edwardsburg but a good share of them are.

There are several factors that make this a very important event in town. First, the amount of work to coordinate this many people and make salads to feed this crowd is a monumental task and requires good organization as well as good cooks.

Secondly, this is a major fund raising task for the church. But the selling of the tickets for this event is not a hard task. When tickets go on sale they are snatched up in a couple of days. There is no necessity to beg people to buy tickets.

The third factor that makes this a successful event is the group of women who get together to quilt a bed covering and wall hanging for a raffle.

The tickets for this sell very well and some lucky attendee gets the big prize. But most people don’t go home empty handed. Table favors are solicited and given to all attendees as well as a wealth of door prizes.

Not only are our community members generous but so are our merchants and elected officials. They willingly contribute to the causes which benefit our members.

The gentlemen who served the beverages and cleared the tables were on the job along with the glamorous models in their tuxedoes who escorted the young ladies modeling clothes from area retailers.

Anyone who has worked at such a large event understands the amount of work it takes to put all of this together. Kudos go to the church members who must have put endless volunteer hours in making preparations for this event. Thanks goes to the ladies and gentlemen of the Edwardsburg Presbyterian Church. Well done.

This activity is indicative of the kind of people who makeup the Edwardsburg community. Whether it be a benefit, a fundraiser to support a cause or a church function, if you plan it and advertise it they will come. Edwardsburg is one of the most generous communities in the area. History proves this fact.

The museum has records of groups that have planned these events. It has copies of a publication titled “How to Benefit,” which gives details for planning and execution of such events. This was written by one of the groups who hosted a benefit nearly 30 or 40 years ago. It details a schedule of events and preparations for an entire day for the purpose of raising funds.

We should all be proud to live in such a generous community.

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