When September rolls around each year, calendars start to fill up with fall suppers in many communities. This year was no different.
In Woodridge, a group of volunteers spent a couple of months planning for the big community feast.
Cory Jackson says this annual event is about more than raising money, it’s also about bringing people together.
While most of them come from nearby, Jackson notes that this year, she met a couple from Nottingham, England and this was their first time experiencing a Fall Supper. It was so enjoyable, she says, that they planned to take in a few more before heading back to England.
There were 35 people who peeled 150 lbs. of potatoes, made 2100 meatballs and 1200 perogies to fill 360 plates.
Jackson says they pre-sold tickets to the supper, and that helped a lot with planning.
“It helps us better manage our budget,” she says. “It also helps us manage what we may have in the way of leftovers and mitigating that so that we’re not left with a lot of groceries that could go to waste.”
What about dessert? Jackson says the community members took care of that by donating baked goods and it was quite a spread of various delicious desserts to end the meal.
The supper raised $5172 with some of that money being used to replace the old shelter at the ice rink.
Jackson notes many community halls can only stay open through fundraisers to help pay utilities and other costs. In Woodridge, their annual operating cost is $15,000.
She notes they also apply for grants and hold fundraisers throughout the year to generate enough income to keep the doors open and the lights on. Some money also comes in through hall rentals.
In Sarto, their fall supper was the first one in 10 years and they had a great turnout with 400 plates served.
It took 40 volunteers 45 hours to make all the potatoes, perogies and meatballs to satisfy the hungry people who showed up to support the community hall.
“We loved our volunteers and that sense of community felt great,” says a spokesperson. “We had a lot of people visiting and connecting with each other, and many compliments on the food and that the venue is so nice! Guests also commented on how well organized we were and that they were able to sit and enjoy supper at clean tables.”
The supper brought in $3,000.
There was a population explosion in Pansy for their fall supper in September, as can be expected. They are well known for putting on quite a feast and this year, they served up 1275 plates.
A spokesperson says they appreciate the massive support from people near and far, noting that they ran out of food.
Dominion City has been holding fall suppers for 50 years and they served up 175 plates of meatballs and potatoes, raising $2449 which will help pay a few months of bills for the community hall.
There were 510 people who enjoyed the fall supper in Gardenton which was prepared by 45 volunteers.
In St. Adolphe, 800 plates were served, making this one of the biggest turnouts for their fall supper.
St. Malo served up meatballs, ham, potatoes and tourtière (meat pie) to 300 people. A spokesperson says they had “ultra-amazing volunteers,” and they really appreciate the support from each person who joined them for the supper.
Each year, communities start hosting fall suppers in September, and they are spread out over the next couple of months. Volunteers will now take a break, reconvening in June or July to plan for the next one.
-With files from Carly Koop
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