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Volunteers prepare strawberries for the annual Guilford Community Church strawberry supper. This Saturday’s supper will be the last one at the church.

Town and Village

Sun sets on strawberry suppers

Guilford Community Church to end longstanding tradition

The Strawberry Supper at Guilford Community Church will be held on Saturday, June 18. There will be two seatings, at 5 and 6:30 p.m. The price is $12 for adults, $6 for children 11 and under, and $3 for preschoolers. For reservations, call 802-254-9019 or email guilfordchurchsupper@gmail.com. The menu features ham, baked beans, deviled eggs, potato salad, coleslaw, fresh baked rolls, strawberries, shortcake and whipped cream, coffee, iced tea, and milk. All proceeds benefit the church, which supports over 20 local programs and organizations that serve the community.

GUILFORD—Citing a combination of factors, officials with the Guilford Community Church are making 2016 the last year they offer the Strawberry Supper.

The chair of the event, Fred Breunig, told The Commons the main reasons for discontinuing the supper are attendance, the cost of running the event, and a need to pare down.

“For several years, attendance has fallen off,” Breunig said. He explained that before “eight or 10 years ago,” the one-day fundraising event had three separate seatings. In the past decade, when the church had a hard time filling all three seatings, they shrank the event to two.

“Now it’s drifting off and we’re not filling the seats,” he said. “Also, food costs have gone up.”

“We recently had a fundraising summit at the church, and we realized we’re doing almost one fundraiser a month,” he added, noting, “that’s a lot for a small congregation.”

Thus, church fundraisers decided, “maybe this is the one we should drop,” Breunig said.

Breunig wasn’t able to give exact figures on how long the church has held the strawberry supper, but he said that when he first got involved in the church in the early-1980s, it was a well-established tradition.

“So, at least 40 years if not longer,” he said.

“Things change and people change,” he added, noting he and the other supper organizers have received feedback saying the menu “isn’t great for the modern diet, so to speak.”

“We hope to go out with a bang,” Breunig said, noting reservations are still available.

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Originally published in The Commons issue #361 (Wednesday, June 15, 2016). This story appeared on page D1.

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