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Presbyterian Church prepares for corned beef, cabbage dinner

Mary Hamilton’s pile of carrots may leave her hands tinted orange year after year, but they feed loads of hungry people, too. Just one of the foods included in the dinners prepared for the Baldwinsville First Presbyterian Church’s annual Corned Beef ‘n Cabbage Drive-thru fundraiser to be held from 4 to 6 p.m. March 14.

Mary Hamilton’s pile of carrots may leave her hands tinted orange year after year, but they feed loads of hungry people, too. Just one of the foods included in the dinners prepared for the Baldwinsville First Presbyterian Church’s annual Corned Beef ‘n Cabbage Drive-thru fundraiser to be held from 4 to 6 p.m. March 14.

— Nothing says St. Patty’s Day like a good meal of corned beef and cabbage.

So, when cars begin filing into the parking lot at the First Presbyterian Church of Baldwinsville on March 14, they will be on the receiving end of weeks of hard work as volunteers have been busily preparing for the seventh annual Corned Beef ‘n Cabbage Drive-thru fundraiser.

“We cook 750 pounds of corned beef, 400 pounds of cabbage, 300 pounds of carrots, 300 pounds of potatoes,” said Barb Winegard, fundraiser founder and coordinator.

Along with the main dish – which includes fresh bread from Harrison Bakery – volunteers get to work baking 50 cakes to divvy up as dessert.

“People tell me they have never had such tender, delicious corned beef,” Winegard said.

As the largest fundraising event of the year for the church, Winegard said the 2012 event was possible with the help of 66 volunteers who worked tirelessly leading up to and on the evening of the dinner.

Taking on the task of peeling carrots, volunteer Mary Hamilton said the orange hands she sports when all is said and done are worth it because the dinner brings people together.

“I just enjoy being with people and helping,” Hamilton said.

The church is never short of volunteers when the call goes out and people begin filling the spots available to make the event a success as soon as the list of jobs is posted in the church sanctuary.

“Volunteers [sign up] right off the bat. We always have more than we need,” Hamilton said happily.

According to Winegard, it takes 60 to 70 volunteers to prepare, assemble and deliver the dinners.

Having enjoyed the dinner for several years now, Marcellus resident Newt Allen and his wife, Ann, are just two of many people who begin looking forward to the melt-in-your mouth corned beef and cabbage dinner months before it takes place.

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