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Oyster, ham and turkey supper is a popular event

October 19, 2004|by Alicia Notarianni

alician@herald-mail.com

If Rohrersville were an oyster, Rohrersville Ruritan oyster, ham and turkey supper fund-raisers would be pearls for hundreds of devoted attendees.

At the final count, 307 hungry diners flocked to the Rohrersville Ruritan School Saturday, Oct. 16, for the Ruritan's first fund-raiser dinner of the season. At $12 for adults and $6 for children, suppers included oyster, ham and turkey, sauerkraut, mashed potatoes, stuffing, gravy, green beans, cake and coffee in a family style setting.

Judging by the parking lot overflowing with cars and the line of people waiting for a seat, observers could have easily mistaken the dining hall at the school for a popular downtown steakhouse restaurant at dinner time.

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"We had 100 people by 1:50 p.m. We don't start serving until 2 p.m.," said Sara Jane Palmer, 70, a volunteer who worked the ticket table for the event.

Shortly after 2 p.m., the hall was filled to its 130-person capacity and customers stood in line, undeterred and waiting for a seat. Dennis Maietta, 75, of Greencastle, had about a 20-minute wait.

"I come to all of (the suppers) they have. I'm a regular customer," Maietta said. "The food is great!"

Smithsburg resident Melinda Woodward, 37, said she goes for the oysters.

"Hagerstown has a lot of these oyster suppers but this one is the best," she said.

Vincent and Mary Lopresti of Olney, Md., said they drive more than an hour to attend the oyster suppers a couple of times each year. A friend from Frederick read about the event in the newspaper and asked the Loprestis along.

"This is our third year coming. We really love it," Vincent Lopresti said.

Rohrersville Ruritan hosts suppers in October and November and from January through April on the third Saturday of the month. Palmer said around 30 people - both Ruritan members and non-member volunteers - pitch in to make the fund-raisers happen.

Gail Smith, 55, of Boonsboro, who served and bussed tables, said she remembers when the Ruritan first started hosting the suppers more than 25 years ago.

"My daughter Amy sat back there drying silverware when she was 1 1/2 years old. Now she's 27," Gail Smith said.

Amy has been helping ever since.

"It's nice to talk to people. You see the same people come back every month. It's like everyone here is a big family," Amy Smith said.

Amy Smith recalled a gentleman she met years ago while serving supper. He was a regular who came with his wife.

"He found a pearl in an oyster he was eating," Smith said. "The next month he brought it back and gave it to me."

Smith learned Saturday from the man's wife that he passed away in June.

"I only knew him from here," Smith said reflectively.

Lloyd Smith, 59, president of the Rohrersville Ruritan Club, said Saturday's event brought in around $1,200, which will benefit the Rohrersville Ruritan Community Park and a variety of club projects.

"Whatever anybody in the community needs is where it goes to," Lloyd Smith said.

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