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Lions share bounty with more than 700

December 23, 2002|by ANDREA ROWLAND

andrear@herald-mail.com

HANCOCK - Brownie scout Kelsie Munch and her friends kept busy as carolers, waitresses and bus girls Saturday during the eighth annual Hancock Lions Club Christmas dinner.

For Kelsie, serving desserts was even more fun than singing her favorite holiday song, "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer," she said.

"It makes me feel good inside," said Kelsie, 8.

And she had plenty to feel good about.

The Lions, Lionesses and about 25 of their Girl Scout elves served nearly 600 free meals to area residents at the Hancock American Legion. Volunteers also delivered more than 150 dinners to people confined to their homes, Lion Larry Gerber Sr. said.

Veteran Lion James L. Roby Sr., 90, took a dinner break after completing his last deliveries of the day - a task he called "wonderful."

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In his conversation-piece "Beverly Hills Country Club" chef's coat, Bill Gangloff helped bake about 20 hams for the dinner. The Lions started cooking Friday evening and returned to the kitchen early Saturday to complete preparations for the annual meal, Gerber said.

A line of Lions and Lionesses stood behind chafing dishes and served ham, rolls, green beans and corn, sweet potatoes and fruit cocktail. The Lionesses also prepared a variety of cakes.

Shirley and Francis Clements of Berkeley Springs, W.Va., planned to enjoy some of those sweet treats at home as they accepted a heaping helping to go after finishing their meals at the Legion, they said.

"We just love it," Shirley Clements said. "We've been coming for three years."

Harry Shupp of Pectonville polished off a plate of ham and the fixin's after waiting for a parking space at the packed venue, he said.

"It was worth waiting," Shupp said. "This is real nice. We come every year."

Mike Gilks also made a return appearance, spreading holiday cheer in a well-worn Santa suit.

"I play Santa every year for the kids," Gilks said. "It makes them happy, and it makes me happy."

Santa Claus was fun, but clearing tables and serving drinks and dessert was the best part of the day for Junior Girl Scout Ashton Cook of Troop 582, she said.

The scouts had so much fun working the dinner that they didn't want to stop to eat, said Debbie Henry, leader of Troop 392.

"The younger girls sing, but they all look forward to serving drinks and desserts like the older Scouts," Henry said. "They really gain an appreciation for community service."

The Lions raise money for the dinner through Canal Apple Days, chicken barbecues and breakfasts in the park.

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