Local residents loosened their belts for a good cause Saturday at the 85th annual Wauka Mountain Chicken Pie Supper.
This year, as always, a tummy full of chicken helped benefit students at Wauka Mountain Elementary School.
“Wauka Mountain Elementary School is going to become a multiple intelligence charter school next year,” explained Tiffany Potter, a co-chair for the event. “For part of that, we are having new enrichment classes, such as a culinary class, a horticulture class, guitar lessons and swim lessons.”
The Chicken Pie Supper fundraiser will help fund some of the equipment needed for the many new things offered for students next year.
Preparing for the supper, a winter pastime, took a lot of time, patience and, most importantly, a love for eating chicken.
“We cooked about 2,500 pounds of chicken last weekend, and we started this morning at about five o’clock making dough,” Potter said.
Each person attending the supper was served chicken pie, green beans, cranberry sauce, coleslaw, a roll, a brownie and a drink.
“It takes so many volunteers to pull this off, and it is one of those events that you never know whether or not it is going to come together until the end,” Potter said with a laugh. “But then everyone shows up and it all works out beautifully.”
Volunteers were busy putting up decorations and cooking all day Saturday. Others were getting raffle items ready.
Lauren Fair, a kindergarten teacher at Wauka Mountain Elementary, has been a volunteer for three years. She believes that the event is very important to both the community and school.
“I really want the kids to see people involved,” Fair said. “It is just a really special thing.”
Fair said the supper is “a part of Wauka Mountain ... it is who we are.”
In her five years of participating, Potter has watched the Chicken Pie Supper become more kid-friendly.
“In the last two or three years, we have tried to get more kids to come and to bring in more parents from the school because a lot of the time it has been more community folk that have come out instead of the parents,” Potter said.
“Today, we have different grades singing at different times, so we are getting more of the kids involved and more of the parents involved.”
Clay Browning and Lori Turpin were at the event with daughters, Mallori Turpin, 5, and Lainie Turpin, 6. Lori Turpin has been attending the supper since she was in kindergarten and said her favorite part as a little girl was the food. But she has noticed changes over the years.
“It has gotten a lot bigger,” Turpin said. “They do performances and things now; it used to be just eatin’.”
Browning, on the other hand, admits that he normally stays at home and waits for the food to come to him.
“This is the first time I have attended this,” Browning said. “We have Lainie participating in the kindergarten singing.”
Turpin said that she also gets to see some of her old classmates at the supper.
As for the future of the Chicken Pie Supper, Potter hopes to keep the tradition going.
“It is a wonderful thing to see it all come together,” she said.