Traditional New Year's meal a successful fundraiser for church youth group

January 01, 2011|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD
  • Danielle Grove gives her son Levi a taste of sauerkraut Saturday at Calvary Temple's pork and sauerkraut dinner in Williamsport.
By Ric Dugan/Staff Photographer

WILLIAMSPORT — Slow-cooked pork and sauerkraut, a New Year’s Day traditional meal in Stephanie Baker’s family, quickly has become a successful fundraising draw for the youth group at Calvary Temple in Williamsport.

“We’re always looking for good fundraisers and this was a really good one last year,” youth group leader Stephanie Baker said as a steady stream of people arrived Saturday at the church for the second year of the fundraising dinner.

The inaugural event last year attracted close to 150 people, according to worship leader Lisa Harrell, who collected money as people arrived for the dinner.

This year, Harrell said some residents arrived at 3:30 p.m., a half-hour before the first helpings of pork and sauerkraut, homemade mashed potatoes, green beans, applesauce and desserts were to be consumed.

Baker said they began cooking 70 to 80 pounds of pork, eight gallons of sauerkraut and about 50 pounds of potatoes for the fundraiser about 8 a.m.


Proceeds from the fundraiser will support the church youth group’s trip to Ocean City, Md., in February for Winterfest, a youth group retreat affiliated with the Church of God.

“Any amount helps,” Baker said when asked if they had a fundraising goal.

Pork and sauerkraut, according to Pennsylvania Dutch tradition, is supposed to bring good luck to people if eaten on New Year’s Day.

Mona Adkins of Hagerstown joked that she needed all the good luck she could get.

“You know when you live with a man 55 years, you know you hope the next year’s going to be just as good,” Adkins said, laughing.

Adkins said she brought her husband, Lee, her sister and her sister’s friend to the dinner after reading about the dinner in the newspaper.

“It was delicious,” Adkins said. “I’m taking (a meal to go) out to my granddaughter.”

Danielle Grove of Hagerstown, said she and her husband, Ryan, came to support youth group leaders they know at the church, but also noted the meal was one less that needed to be cooked at home.

When asked, Baker and Harrell said they really didn’t have a recipe for the pork and sauerkraut.

“Just cook it slow and all day ... and then put some pork in the sauerkraut and that’s pretty much it,” Baker said, laughing.

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