No election? No problem at annual Election Day Chicken Noodle Dinner
Incentives are always a promising way to increase participation, so the United Methodist Women of Ives Chapel United Methodist Church annually give voters a reason to head to the polls with its annual Election Day Chicken Noodle Dinner.
Forget that there were no elections Tuesday in Baldwin City, Douglas County or even Kansas.
“It’s a tradition; we’ve done our chicken noodle dinner on Election Day for years,” said Joy Uthoff, vice president of the United Methodist Women.
The dinner began at 5 p.m. and the UMW served 250 people before shutting down around 7 p.m.
Donations were accepted, and all proceeds from the dinner are for the mission through the UMW.
“It’s whatever anyone wants to donate, we don’t charge per plate and there is no asking donation,” Uthoff said. “It is just the one fundraiser for the year that (the UMW) uses to provide money. It goes to their mission work, pledges and sponsoring speakers for mission studies, things like that.”
Uthoff said most people give according to what they would pay for a dinner our, and some people are very generous with their donations.
Along with the dinner, Christmas place settings were displayed in the sanctuary. Some of the displays included china and dishware passed on from great grandparents. A quilt was also sold in a silent auction to raise money for the Sunday school children, who want to adopt a family for the holiday season.
In preparation for the evening, Mary Gorton, chairman of local church activities, had to organize and prepare the meal with the help of the UMW and other church members.
“It is sponsored by the UMW, but all the women in the church are really good about helping — and sometimes some of the men help, too,” Uthoff said. “So, it is kind of like a working together thing of our own congregation to provide this.”
The women in the UMW provide pies and others help to make the chicken. Volunteers help to serve the meal as well.
“The fellowship everyone has together is the best part,” Uthoff said. “We see people from all over the community come together, visiting and seeing people they maybe wouldn’t have seen for a while, so there is a lot of camaraderie with it.”