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Church group sweetens Easter

March 12, 2009|By JANET HEIM

WILLIAMSPORT -- The smell of chocolate wafts through the air as the friendly chatter of a half-dozen women is heard in the distance.

For several weeks before Easter, on Monday and Tuesday evenings in Calvary Temple's small kitchen, a team of experienced candy makers cranks out an assortment of candy eggs. They make about 250 to 300 eggs an evening.

This is the biggest fundraiser for the Ladies' Auxiliary of the Williamsport church, a project they started 13 years ago.

The women make five varieties of candy Easter eggs - chocolate-covered peanut butter, chocolate-covered coconut, white chocolate-covered peanut butter, white chocolate-covered coconut and what they refer to as the ultimate Smoothie egg, peanut butter covered with peanut butter chocolate.

Last year, the chocolate peanut butter was the most popular, followed by the Smoothie, auxiliary member Wanda Whipp said.

The egg making starts about four to five weeks before Easter to allow enough time to make the 5,000 or so eggs that will be ordered. Whipp and Cindy Harbaugh work the three double boilers, carefully brushing the melted chocolate coating into the egg molds before placing them in the commercial refrigerator to harden.

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A different variety is made each night. Shirley Williams, the sister of Calvary's pastor, Robert Robinson, portions the coconut filling and places it in the trays of hardened chocolate before the bottom coat of melted chocolate is applied.

Bonnie Burk is in charge of removing the completed eggs, trimming the edges, then bagging and labeling them. LaRue Ardinger jumps in to help where needed and said the women take turns rotating stations.

Krista Pereschuk, president of Calvary's Ladies' Auxiliary, Carol Hawley and Ardinger head up the project. Eggs are sold for 75 cents apiece.

They take individual orders or the eggs can be purchased from the hair salon at The Bon-Ton at Valley Mall.

Harbaugh said she looks forward to the candy making sessions, for the fellowship as much as anything.

"It's fun to get to talk to the other ladies," she said.

"Besides the fellowship, we support different groups. It's really encouraging to us. We feel it's worth our while to help others in need," Ardinger said.

Pereschuk said the money is used to pay the group's tithe to the church, for a monthly donation to Samaritan's Purse, to help support a native American mission and special needs that come up, as well as celebrations like Valentine's Day, Mother's Day and Father's Day for church members.

To place an order, call Krista Pereschuk at 301-223-7921 or LaRue Ardinger at 301-582-1309. Orders must be placed by March 31. Orders can be picked up at Calvary Temple, 147 S. Conococheague St., on Monday and Tuesday evenings after 6 p.m. through April 7.

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