A November tradition of community support will continue on Friday with the annual St. Luke's Shoppers' Luncheon and Bake Sale. Coordinated by the women who make up St. Luke's Bishop Overs Guild, church parishioners and volunteers will sell chicken a la king, biscuits and homemade pies in hopes of helping the needy.
"One of the great traditions in downtown Jamestown is the annual Shoppers' Luncheon on the second Friday of November," said Rev. Eric Williams. "What brings people back year after year is the delicious, homemade chicken a la king. This meal brings us back in time to the age of slow-cooked food made entirely from scratch."
Bishop Overs Guild members, who meet at the church on the second Tuesday of each month, prepare the chicken, biscuits, gravy and pies. "We love doing the luncheon," said publicity manager Sheila Eaglesome. "The whole church comes together to help." Each year, more than 60 volunteers make the luncheon happen by either providing baked goods or assisting with setup and cleanup responsibilities.
The women of Bishop Overs Guild meet monthly for a potluck dinner. Once a year, the group puts on the Shoppers’ Luncheon, which will take place at St. Luke’s on Friday.
P-J?photo by Scott Shelters
"One of the great parts of this is that it provides a great opportunity for fellowship and support for a couple of generations within the church," said Rev. Williams.
According to luncheon chairman Wilma Twinam, that work pays off for the community. "We will have 500 people here," she said. "We've had ice storms and pouring rain, but people still seem to come. We paid out $5,000 to food pantries last year." Beneficiaries of the 2010 Shoppers' Luncheon and Bake Sale were the Salvation Army, Union Gospel, Meals on Wheels, Joint Neighborhood Project and St. Susan Center. This year's beneficiaries have yet to be determined.
"One of the great things about this is the proceeds go to other organizations in the community," said Rev. Williams, who noted the importance of the guild for area residents. "There's a pretty long history of the Bishop Overs Guild. It started as a group of women doing miscellaneous work, and it has morphed into doing what it does today, which is outreach work. Members visit people in the hospital. They send get-well cards. They provide a great network of support in the community."
Bishop Overs Guild began meeting back in 1907. Today, the group of women get together for a monthly potluck dinner. "When you get together, you have to eat. It's a social get together where we try each other's recipes," said guild president Barb Dunderdale of the meetings. Additionally, the group helps with St. Luke's Church funeral receptions.
Filling the needs of the community, through the luncheon, has been a little more difficult this year than in years past for the guild. Former luncheon chairman Liz McIntyre underwent two hip replacements since last November. As a result, she hasn't been able to help with the planning process.
"She has really been the backbone of this for a lot of years," said Mrs. Twinam. "We're really hoping she'll be able to do this again next year."
Thankfully for the organizations assisted by the annual luncheon, the rest of the guild has picked up the slack. "As long as we follow Liz's instructions, we'll be just fine," Mrs. Twinam said.
The luncheon will be held at St. Luke's, 410 N. Main St., Jamestown, from 11-1 on Friday. Tickets are $7 for adults and $3 for children under 12. Those interested in placing takeout orders should contact the church office at 483-6405 by Thursday.
This year's pie choices are apple, concord grape, pumpkin and strawberry rhubarb. Additionally, the guild will sell RADA cutlery and brooms. Proceeds will benefit community organizations.
Since the luncheon falls on Veterans Day, downtown parking outside St. Luke's will be free.