The Hungry Hearts dinner on Feb. 24 was, as usual, a treat for the eye as well as the palate. In its fifth year as a fundraiser for the Waste Not Want Not Community Kitchen, the event showcases the creativity of Sandy Flagg and her team of helpers. This year the garden theme was highlighted by the amazing table centerpieces made up by Artisans Way, a group of women who gather to express their creativity. Those involved in this event were Sally Moon, Cindy Rising, Sandy Salazar and Erin Wyndham. They planted large bowls with several live ferns and ivies and each contained an amaryllis and daffodil as well.
The theme was carried out in the many smaller planters offered on the raffle table. A variety of the wooden containers were made by Hubert Parmalee, and all contained living greenery. The dining tables were covered with multiple layers of linens (many of which had floral designs) and were set with vintage sets of china. Decorative fabric “yoyos” made by Flagg’s sister Barbara Brown decorated the tables, and some were made into napkin rings by Winnie Boyer.
Of course the auction items are the big draw, and again this year, they did not disappoint. Among the wonderful offerings, many of which were donated by Granby businesses, was a set of glasses etched with the Granby Oak handmade by Billy Langdon, who learned the craft during his first year in college. He volunteers at the community dinner whenever he has a chance to come home. Other top items were the yacht cruise donated by Michele and Pat Carney and a painting donated by Laura Eden. The most heated bidding war took place over the Morgans’ offer of “burgers in the barn.”
In addition to the meal, raffle and auction, guests were also treated to songs by local singer/songwriter Carrie Johnson, who accompanied herself on guitar. Rick Huggard once again engineered the sound system, using his own equipment.
Many people are needed to pull off this special evening. Although not every single one can be mentioned, a few individuals deserve special credit: Patty Sansone handles the tickets, seating and auction items; Dick Caley works on the auction and handles the raffle; and Johanna Baril does publicity, auction and transports and stores the many sets of dishes.
As for the meal itself, the delicious stuffed pork entrée and the Bailey’s-enhanced iced cream dessert was prepared by Eliza and Lee Florian of Grass Roots. The Lite ‘n Up family of Sue King, hubby Mark, and Sue’s parents provided the appetizer cheese table and roasted vegetables. Lori Love, Nicole Bushey, Sonia Michal and, Donna and David Suzenski, spent hours helping out in the kitchen as well.
Special mention should go to a group of young people whose enthusiasm and politeness as servers would be hard to match by seasoned professionals. Some of these youth are part of a group called Ground Up, which studies food sources and nutrition, and others are volunteers at the weekly community dinner.
Last but by no means least are the people who cleaned up and washed all those beautiful dishes (not to mention the pots and pans!) Many of these helpers were ticketed guests who donned aprons when the night was over to help the kitchen crew.
Of course this event could not take place without a perfect venue, and once again, everyone involved is grateful to St. Therese for offering their expansive parish hall and a place to store auction items. The dinner profited about $15,000, which goes a long way to help Waste Not Want Not to continue its weekly community meals.