Hundreds of hours of woman and man power went into the planning and preparations for the Salvation Army Auxiliary’s annual Christmas Luncheon and Festival of Tables.
From purchasing and chopping ingredients for the chicken spaghetti, writing press releases and postings to Facebook, rehearsals by the Jenkins Choir, to setting up tables in the Great Hall of the First United Methodist Church and much more – all this happened for the Dec. 6 event. But Mother Nature had other ideas, sending the worst weather of the season in the form of cold air and ice.
The afternoon before the festivities were scheduled, the decision was made that if Pine Bluff schools were canceled, the event would not go forward, even though the tables were already decorated and the food was prepared, according to Carolyn Uschold, event chairman.
Many people did lots of work, receiving little if any recognition, not even the smiles and compliments from the guests who would have attended, Uschold said.
Thirty-six tables were adorned with tablescapes created by Donna Davis, Anna Bess Westerfield, Shepherd Florist, Small Florist, Toni Bradford, Kim Coker and Todd Flower Shop, Watson Chapel Baptist Church, TARA Promotional Products Inc. Scarlett McPherson, Bill Owen, Kay Garrison, Summit Baptist Church, Kaye Richardson and Debbie James, Jefferson County Extension Homemaker Council, Linda Hurd,. Old Morning Star Baptist Church, Patty Membrey (two), Ginny Haertlein, Hospice Angels, Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church, New Morning Star Baptist Church (two), Diane Crowder, Camden Road Extension Homemakers Club, Eloquent Ladies Civic and Social Club, The Light House, Retired and Senior Volunteer Program, Carrie-Scott’s Antique Mall, Eva Marie Pearson, Wanda Bateman (two), June’s Hallmark, Watson Chapel Picture Frames and Gifts, The Petal Shoppe, Relyance Bank, Pine Bluff Symphony, Maria Neff (two) and Jefferson County Retired Teachers.
Other assignments were:
• Luncheon chairman – Uschold.
• Ticket chairman – Linda Minyard.
• Publicity chairman – Pearson.
• Greeters – Bettie Mildred Pierce; Maj. Geraldine Leonard,Salvation Army Pine Bluff Corps officer; and Berinda Wallace Eugene, Auxiliary president.
• Tablescapes co-chairmen – Denny Jordan and Brenda Cahill.
• Kitchen co-chairmen – Jo Ann Ruggeri and Ruth Rogers.
• Cake tri-chairmen – Warna Turner, Sally McGarity and Jestean Thomas.
• Cake bakers – Girtha Adway, Prince Age, Dorothy Anderson, Virginia Barner, Lynda Benson, Toni Bradford, Eunice Brooks, Ann Creed, Dede Foster, Jeanette Green, Sandra Harron, Ethel Higgins, Rita James, Joyce Johnson, Georgia Lagrave, Earnestine Marshall, Deidre Maxwell, Barbara Payne, Martha Pointer, Barbara Rhinehart, Dale St. Clair, Eunita Seals, Uschold, Shirley Word, Lillian Wilson and Nedra White.
• Casserole chairman – Uschold.
• Casserole cooks – Benson, Rogers, Wanda Waring, Janelle George, Johnson, Linda Eifling, Ruggeri, Rosemarie Word, Dorothy Lockhart, Uschold, Zelda Hoaglan, Betty Coles, Mary Winkley, Etoyle Mouser, Jordan, Turner, Thomas, Brenda Robinson and Delores Kelley.
• Carryout tri-chairmen – Waring, McGarity, Thomas, George and Jo Ann Jacks.
• Tea and coffee chairmen— Linda Murray, Seals, Eifling and Rhinehart.
• Choir co-chairman – Coles and Winkley.
Auxiliary members also helping — Berinda Eugene, Odessa Wallace, Anthonette Akins, Beth Turchi, Kay Richardson, Phyliss Tucker and Princilla Gardner.
The Auxiliary also received assistance from the staff of the First United Methodist Church. Employees of the Salvation Army Thrift Store delivered and picked up extra tables and chairs. Members of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff set up tables and chairs, along with the Rev. Aaron Eugene, husband of the Auxiliary president.
Uschold said that she also wants to give a special thanks to those who purchased tickets. Their support will allow the Auxiliary to assist with the work of the Salvation Army in Pine Bluff, especially in the area of sending youngsters to summer camp, she said.