|Getting to Know ... The Canal Days Chicken Dinner Chairs|
|Thursday, September 05, 2013 12:05 AM|
BY STEPHANIE GROVES
Planning for the Kiwanis Club Chicken BBQ is no small feat and both chairs for the event, Jim Fischer and Donna Berger, have had plenty of experience planning and carrying out the event.
Fischer said that he has been volunteering his time cooking for the Canal Days event for three years.
“I arrange supplies for the barbecue,” Fischer explained. “Other members of the club help our Head Chef, Dave Smith, prepare the chicken and Donna Berger has been in charge of serving the chicken.”
Berger said 12 years ago she was on the Chamber Board with the group of guys — now The Core — and all of them decided that they would like to see Canal Days return to what it was years ago.
“That year, I was asked, along with other members of the board, to help serve the BBQ chicken,” Berger explained. “Since then, we have grown, selling chicken for 2 days.”
Berger says planning and serving the dinners has become easier and easier every year. The Kiwanis members take care of the food and Berger retains the workers.
“It’s a win/win for both parties and the community,” Berger explained.
The Kiwanis Club Chicken Tent will be located beside the chamber. Service starts at 11 a.m. Saturday until sold out and at noon Sunday until sold out. No dinners will be sold during the parade.
“A total of 600 chicken dinners will be prepared for the event,” Fischer said.
“We cut down some [dinners] on Saturday and added another 50 on Sunday because we sold out so early after the parade last year,” Berger said.
Fischer gets everything needed — side dishes and paper products — and delivers the goods to the tent on Friday morning where volunteers are on hand to help dish up applesauce. Saturday is when the majority of the work is done; setting up tables and preparing the area for all the patrons.
There are four shifts on Saturday and three on Sunday and each shift consists of four to six dedicated volunteers that can be counted on to help with the event year after year.
“Most are from our hometown banks and some are dear friends,” Berger said. “They know when I come calling its Canal Days chicken time and they are always there to lend a hand.”
“Helping the Canal Days committee give the community the opportunity to come together during the celebration makes me feel good,” Fischer said.
Berger said she was “raised” to work at events of this nature.
“Back home in Tiro, we have a Firemen’s Festival every year, which grows larger each year,” she detailed. “I worked right along with my parents and town volunteers to put the event into motion.”
Berger loves the togetherness she shares with all the volunteers and says Canal Days just keeps getting better and better every year.
Fischer says he loves to see all the member of the community having an enjoyable and safe time.
“I enjoy doing the chicken dinners on Saturday and Sunday; however, I really love that we have added The Toast on Thursday night,” Berger said.
She is also on that committee and working on getting the local restaurants involved.
“We have a wonderful group that has made this quite a success to our Canal Days weekend,” she added.