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Chicken Pie Supper raises money for school’s new playground

POSTED: March 1, 2009 12:12 a.m.

The 84th Wauka Mountain Chicken Pie Supper

Watch video highlights of the 84th Wauka Mountain Chicken Pie Supper.

SCOTT ROGERS/The Times

Leah Hulsey is all smiles while making up plate after plate of chicken pie to go Saturday afternoon at Wauka Mountain Elementary during the school's annual Chicken Pie Supper. The Wauka Mountain first-grade teacher helped other volunteers in making thousands of plates for hungry visitors.

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The annual Wauka Mountain Chicken Pie Supper is a big deal for Joan and Gilbert Martin.

On Saturday, the embroidered bib their 4-month-old grandson wore inside the Wauka Mountain Elementary School cafeteria said it all: “My First Chicken Pie Supper.”

“We just look forward to coming every year,” said Joan Martin, who has attended the school fundraiser at Wauka Mountain Elementary nearly every year since 1958, when it was a Brookton School event. “It’s a really good community gathering — it’s fun.”

Organizers expected to sell about 4,000 plates and about 100 whole pies at the 84th supper, a local social event of the season that saw a few new twists this year.

Besides the traditional servings of chicken pie, green beans, slaw, roll and cake, for the first time child-friendly fare of chicken fingers and macaroni was offered. Inflatable toys and a man dressed in a chicken suit also were new nods to the kids.

“We’re trying to cater to a younger crowd,” chicken man Ken Stanley explained.

But the tradition remains the same. It’s as much about socializing as the food.

“You always see somebody you know,” 61-year-old Johnny Martin said.

Martin attended nearly every supper for the past 20 years as a post-Valentine’s Day celebration with his wife. Martin’s wife died last year, “so I miss that this year, but my sister was kind enough to join me.”

In the kitchen, Wauka Mountain PTO President Teo Barth helped oversee what he jokingly termed “organized chaos.” Between last week’s chicken picking and the big supper on Saturday, close to 200 volunteers helped prepare and serve the meal.

“You always wonder if it’s going actually going to happen until the last minute, then it all comes together,” Barth said.

Volunteers were in the kitchen by 5 a.m. Saturday and expected to be working until at least 9. The money raised will go toward buying new playground equipment for the school.

“We’re here to support our children, but mostly carry on a tradition,” Stanley said.



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