By Celine Klosterman
GEORGETOWN — Fifty pounds of cabbage, 220 pounds of sweet corn and more than 1,000 guests — that’s a partial recipe for the annual God’s Portion Day at St. Patrick Parish in Georgetown, which on Sept. 6 will celebrate the fundraiser’s 50th anniversary.
With live and silent auctions, dinner, kids’ games, a raffle, country store and lawn social, the Labor Day-weekend event is the main fundraiser for the 65-family parish, said Sharon Crall. She is St. Patrick’s pastoral associate.
Daylong festivities bring back former parishioners and alumni of the former St. Patrick School for homecoming. This year, the 10 a.m. Mass will highlight representatives of years 1919, 1929, 1939, 1949 and 1959, as well as Georgetown natives who graduated from Albia Community High School in 1969, 1979, 1989 and 1999.
They and current parishioners contribute tens of thousands of dollars that help fund St. Patrick’s operations for the year. In 2008, God’s Portion Day raised $37,000; in 1959, the event begun by Father Charles Gannon profited $4,459, according to parish records. In that first year, two couples – Mr. and Mrs. John Lahart and Mr. and Mrs. John Crall – oversaw the dinner, auction and dance that made up the event. Two couples coordinated festivities for years to come.
As the event grew, a committee took over. Now, volunteers start frying chicken at 3:30 a.m. the morning of God’s Portion Day. They spend an evening de-cobbing, blanching and freezing sweet corn, and serve up vegetables donated from parishioners’ gardens.
The full menu includes fried chicken and roast beef with mashed potatoes, gravy, homegrown sweet corn, coleslaw, green beans, salad bar, rolls, homemade pie and other desserts. The meal will be served from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Cost is $8 for people ages 12 and older and $3 for children. Local carryouts may be ordered until 5 p.m. Sept. 5 by calling Marianne Crall at (641) 932- 5961 or Tiffany DeMoss at (641) 932-2139.
Kids’ games begin at 11:30 a.m., and a silent auction runs from noon-4 p.m. The grand auction begins at 1:30 p.m. on the south church grounds, weather permitting. Items include quilts that will create the Avenue of Quilts displayed along the church sidewalk, framed pictures of the church donated by Ron Clester and White Oak Gallery, tickets to sports events, overnight stays at the Riverside Casino and Terrible’s Casino, Irish and religious articles, merchandise and certificates from local merchants, and items donated by parish supporters.
Shirts, caps, Irish accessories and DVDs of the old Georgetown Show are available to buy. New items such as coolers and aprons will be for sale to celebrate the 50th anniversary of God’s Portion Day.
Raffle tickets are being sold on a travel package to a Silverleaf Resort — destination of the winner’s choice — and a $250 package at the Honey Creek Resort for lodging, food or golf; $100 groceries from Jim and Charlie’s Foods, $100 groceries from Hy-Vee, two $100 cash prizes, and a comforter made by Lucille Lahart. Tickets are available from parishioners for $2.
The day wraps up with a lawn social at 4 p.m. and raffle drawing. Grounds close at 9 p.m.