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Chow changes, custom remains

August 23, 2005|by Alicia Notarianni

alician@herald-mail.com

While the steak was replaced by ham and baked chicken, the neighborly spirit remained true to tradition at this year's annual Clear Spring American Legion Joseph C. Herbert Post 222 Auxiliary feed.

Attendees of the Friday, Aug. 19, event said they saw it as a customary opportunity to socialize, enjoy a hearty meal and try their luck at tip jars while supporting projects that benefit area veterans and youth.

Auxiliary member Glenda Blickenstaff, 40, of Clear Spring, helps manage the event.

"We just put (the proceeds) in a kitty and use it to keep community things going," she said. "Just whatever we can do for veterans and kids."

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She said projects usually include providing college scholarships for local high school graduates and sponsoring Easter egg hunts and trick-or-treating booths. The roughly 150-member auxiliary also contributes to the town parade and purchases school supplies for an area children's home.

"We get really involved. Everybody has at least one little thing that they can do," Blickenstaff said.

Donna Hose, 56, of Clear Spring, is president of the auxiliary. Hose said the group cares for veterans at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Martinsburg, W.Va., by holding bingo several times a year and by donating care bags and hosting a party at Christmas time.

"I love going over to the VA and having bingo with the guys," Donna Hose said. "One year, for the Christmas party, I dressed up as Mrs. Claus. The guys really enjoyed that."

Attendees of Friday's fundraiser braved the dreary weather, plodding down a hill amid damp trees, dewy grass and chirping crickets to assemble under a pavilion on the Clear Spring American Legion picnic grounds.

Angie Hensley of Warfordsburg, Pa., went to the feed with her husband Eric Hensley and her sister, Kim Faith of Clear Spring.

"We come every year. We're frequent flyers," Angie Hensley said. "It's good food and drink for one price, and the dollars collected go to a good place."

Dave Snyder, 87, an ex-fighter pilot and World War II veteran, attended the event with his companion Dottie Gurath, 77. Snyder had two words to describe the feed.

"Good grub," he said.

Ed Yetter, 46, of Clear Spring, took his twin sons, Eric and Ryan Yetter, 9, to the feed after they worked up an appetite at football practice. Yetter's wife, Bonnie Yetter, is an auxiliary member who worked at the event.

"The food's delicious," Ed Yetter said. "We were two hours late and they still kept it for us. And the money from it is going back into the community."

Sharon Ensminger of Clear Spring, secretary and treasurer of the auxiliary, said the group sold about 75 tickets in advance of the ham and chicken feed at $12 each or two for $20.

"This was the first time we've tried something other than steak," Ensminger said. "There are so many other steak feeds, we thought maybe the public would like something different. Most everybody seems to be pleased."

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