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By Cynthia Haggitt
The Church Dinner at Saint Francis of Assisi in Hardin was a success and the Calhoun community never hesitates to help.
“The drive-through carry out line was long and well worth it. They had a problem with a couple of their chicken fryers for the dinners but the Riverdock and the Hardin Drive-In both stepped up to help and fried chicken to assist us,” Carrie Baalman said. “Both of these restaurants just jumped in when they were needed with no hesitation because that’s how things are here in Calhoun. They moved the chicken frying to the firehouse and the guys have worked most of the day frying up chicken.”
Jack Robeen said they were helping fry up chicken for about 8 hrs.
“We started at 8 a.m. and will wrap up at the end of the day. It is because of these guys here who helped out who deserve the credit. If it wasn’t for them there wouldn’t be any chicken. They are a good group of guys who didn’t blink an eye to help out.” Robeen said.
Brad Vacca said the fundraiser is for St. Francis parish and the church dinner has been going on for the past 50 years.
“There are two parishes in Calhoun. St Francis which is our parish comprises the Northern end of Calhoun County and then there is also the Trinity parish in the south. We’re from basically, five miles, south of Hardin all the way to the north. So there are three original parishes that combined into one St. Francis of Assisi.”
Vacca said, “ We used to always have a fall dinner and it was the traditional sit-down dinner but because of the pandemic, we couldn’t have it the last two years. So this year is sort of a combination, if you want to drive through, you can drive through, if you want to sit down you can come in and sit down. So that’s how we’re doing it. And this is one of our three major fundraisers for the year.”
Vacca mentioned that not having to have the dinner on the account of COVID, it had hurt the parish because it is about one third of their total income for the year.
“The church helps the school and it helps and we give money to the school, but this fundraiser is just for the parish, but the school’s community is shown here today. Many of the workers are from the parents from the school.” Vacca said.
Baalman said, “This year the picnic was added to the fundraiser. We added the kid’s games, a bag tournament, and we had our craft room and a sweets room also.” She mentioned there was also a quilt raffle and cash raffles too. Overall this year’s fundraiser was a success.