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Hometown dinner kicks off Christmas season

Dee Ryan – If you haven’t seen some of your friends for ages—next year come to the Congregational Church’s Turkey Dinner.  On Thursday night, half of Wayne was there.  The other half showed up for Friday night’s dinner.  Both nights, November 7 and 8, saw huge crowds line up for the Annual Turkey Dinner. We were happy to see some out-of-town friends—Donna and Barry McEachern and  Shelby Szukitis.
Miriam Shurlow, who is Co-chairman of the kitchen, along with Brenda Armstrong, tells me she starts getting supplies in September.  She bases her buying on the crowd numbers from the previous year.
This year they bought 222 turkeys (440 lbs.)  She then ordered enough turkey breast to make 500 lbs.  A small amount of ham was also offered so diners could have a choice.
On Friday, 140 pieces of Swiss steak were on the dinner menu, along with the turkey…  In addition were 250 lbs. of potatoes and 5 bushels of Butternut Squash.  The squash was donated by Jay and Brenda Armstrong.  Mrs. Armstrong has been the kitchen co-chair for 25 years.
Bev Woodard and Mary Ann Ellis are in charge of the salads—for dessert there are cakes, which are donated, and pies from Bartz bakery. Carol Weyand and Judy Howton share the dining room duties.  Judy’s husband, Chuck, along with George Zimmerman are the pie and cake cutters. Gentlemen of the church did the serving and were assisted by Boy Scout Troop #1736.
Three students from William D. Ford Career Technical Center, Culinary Arts  Program, worked in the kitchen for 4 days, from 2-4 hours each day.
Margaret and Ted D’Pulos were on hand to sell the lunch and dinner tickets and it’s always fun to see them.
Now you’ll hear about the TURKEY PARADE.  Seems the Congregational Church hasn’t refrigeration facilities enough for all those turkeys.  So on Wednesday, the turkeys prepped, and in roasting pans, are put on carts and trundled across to the Methodist Church.  Roy Klay puts them to roast in that church’s oven. Then they are safely refrigerated.  On Thursday, four turkeys are carted back, and on Friday another eight birds return to the Congregational kitchens, and the preparations continue for each night’s dinner.
There are two candy workshops where hard candy, peanut brittle, toffee and bark are made.  Miriam Shurlow is known for her delicious Divinity.  She also makes Pralines, peanut squares, and fudge. All of these candies, about 500 lbs. are sold.
Mary Carney, our former City Clerk, runs a Knit and Crochet plus Aprons Boutique that her Mom, Ann Santure started.
There’s a ‘Country Store’ selling canned and baked goods—also a Kitchen Specialty shop that sells a variety of new utensils.
Along with the Christmas Crafts Bazaar is a ‘Kid’s Store’ and an ‘Attic Shop’ that also sells used books.
If all this isn’t enough—cookies and coffee are available in the church parlor.
There’s also a raffle. On Friday evening, raffle winners are announced.  First and second prizes are quilts, and third prize is a Visa Card for $100.

This is the 68th year for the Turkey dinners.  Ann Stacco is the General Chairwoman and is praised for her organizing talents.
The Congregational Church also packs 100 baskets for Thanksgiving and another 100 for Christmas.  These will go to families in our community.  And once more the Boy Scout Troop does good deeds by gathering canned goods for the baskets.

Many thanks to Mariam Shurlow for meeting me at the church and telling me about all the work that goes into the lunches and dinners. Always nice to see Church Secretary Linda Beasley, and a special treat to meet Pastor Chris Richards, the much loved Pastor of Wayne’s Congregational Church.

The Historical Society is teaming up with the Library to present:           Ford-Wyoming and Wayne History book—cars candy and canoodling in the Motor City. The author, Karen Dybis, will give an overview of the area Drive-ins and gladly sign her book.
Ms. Dybis’ presentation will be Wednesday, December 10, at 7:30 p.m in the main meeting room of the Wayne Library.

Wishing you a joyous and blessed Christmas.

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