Holy Name turkey dinner is a fall tradition

Filed under: Headline,In Our Community |

by Sylene Argent

For over six decades, members of Holy Name of Jesus Church in Essex Centre have joined forces to help host or support the annual turkey dinner and bazaar.

It was once hosted as a way to celebrate the fall season, once local farmers were done taking their crops off the field. It still offers that same seasonal flavour today as noticed on Sunday, when volunteers hosted the 2017 installment.

The annual fundraiser supports a variety of causes, Joanne White, President of the church’s Catholic Women’s League (CWL) said. Those causes include programs the CWL supports, Right to Life, church missions, the St. Vincent de Paul, and the church’s youth groups in their endeavours, amongst other causes.

The CWL hosts the event with help from the church community.

It was expected the event would attract 500 patrons to the turkey dinner, which also offered all the trimmings expected, including the cranberry sauce made with the same recipe used when the event was in its infancy.

Organizers noted this recipe is expected from those who attend the event year-after-year.

In addition to the dinner, the event also offered a 50/50 raffle, a fishing for goodies game youth were able to enjoy, a bazaar-complete with around 15 vendor tables, craft sales that included many donated hand-made wooden objects, and a bake sale featuring home-made items.

Parishioners, White said, all pitched in to help ensure the event was a success. Even the youth members supported the event by helping to set up and clearing tables after attendees had enjoyed their meal.

White was grateful to all those who helped out on Sunday, and to those who attended, despite the heavy rain. The event takes a lot of work to host, and she was happy with the turn out. She pointed out those in the kitchen are especially busy.

Parishioner Elsie Chevrier knows how busy the kitchen can get during this event. She has been a volunteer at the annual turkey dinner since 1969. For 11 years, she was the church’s kitchen convener and for many years was in charge of the turkey dinner’s kitchen operation.

She volunteered on Sunday, collecting dinner tickets from patrons and greeting old friends. She stays involved, “For the love of it. I enjoy seeing everyone and greeting everyone I know.”

Looking ahead towards the holiday season, Holy Name of Jesus Church will host a girls’ night out paint night on December 12. Those interested can sign up in the parish hall to participate and to learn more about the ticket cost.