Hundreds turned out recently for the Salvation Army Auxiliary’s annual Christmas Luncheon and Festival of Tables held at First United Methodist Church.
A delicious lunch was served among tablescapes created by many talented people in the community, according to Virginia Barner, event co-chairman.
The Jenkins Choir also performed songs of the season.
As guests arrived at the Great Hall, they were greeted by Capt. Joanna Robinson, Corps officer, De De Foster, president of the Auxiliary, and Bettie Mildred Pierce, founding president of the Auxiliary. They were invited to pass among the tables to view the creations before being served a lunch of chicken spaghetti, coleslaw, French bread, strawberry cake and coffee, tea or water.
The event is completely done by volunteers — the planning, decorating, cooking, serving and clean up, according to Foster. It takes most of a year to plan and prepare for the luncheon, she said. “We have about 35 active members who are involved,” Foster said.
Scholarships to summer camp, Christmas gifts for senior citizens and playground equipment at the Salvation Army Corps location are a few of the projects funded by the Salvation Army Auxiliary through its annual Christmas Luncheon and Festival of Tables.
This luncheon is the group’s major fundraiser for the year, Foster said. This year, the Auxiliary also bought and filled duffel bags with items, ranging from sheets, pillow and pillowcase to toiletries, for the 20 camp scholarship recipients, purchased sand for the fall safe area in the playground and acquired cookware for the Corps’ new canteen.
Auxiliary members assisted with the sign-up when 390 families were registered for assistance from the Salvation Army for Christmas. According to Robinson, this is 86 more than registered last year.
There were 108 senior citizens who registered for Christmas. The Auxiliary will purchase gifts for any of these who are not selected from the Angel Trees, which are in various locations throughout town.
Last year, the Auxiliary was able to buy each of those seniors who was not “adopted” a winter coat in addition to one of their wishes, said Carolyn Uschold, event co-chairman.
Denny Jordan and Brenda Cahill secured volunteers to adorn 42 tables with Christmas finery: Volunteers in Public Schools, Anna Bess Westerfield, Maria Neff (two), Pat Drewett, Linda Hurd, Toni Bradford (two), Patty Membrey (two), Donna Davis, Ginny Haertlein, USA Drug, Kay Garrison, Kaye Richardson and Debbie James, Summit Baptist Church, Hospice Angels, Eloquent Ladies Civic and Social Club, Pine Bluff Art League, The Light House, Diane Crowder Designs, Shepherd Florist & Greenhouses Inc., Simmons First National Bank Classic Club, Eva Marie Pearson, Bobbie Joyce, Forrest Park Baptist Church, New Saint Hurricane Baptist Church, Camden Road Extension Homemakers Club, Wanda Bateman (two), June’s Hallmark, New Morning Star Baptist Church (two), Watson Chapel Picture Frames and Gifts, Old Morning Star Baptist Church, Small Florist & Gifts, The Petal Shoppe, Salvation Army (two), Bettye Johnson and Gerry Martin, Uschold and Carrie Scott’s Antiques.
Casserole makers were: Uschold, Mary Wimbley, Betty Coles, Linda Benson, Rosemarie Word, Joyce Johnson, Wanda Waring, Linda Minyard, Beth Turchi, Virginia Barner for Princella Gardner, Ruth Rogers, Jo Ann Ruggeri, Donna Chism, Warna Turner, Deloris Kelley, Brenda Robinson, Jordan, Robinson, Foster, Linda Eifling, Georgia La Grave, Virginia West and Zelda Hoaglan.
Turner and Janelle George were in charge of cakes. Cake bakers were: Linda Murray, Deidre Maxwell, Dorothy Anderson, Janelle George, Sally McGarity, Robinson, Barbara Rhinehart, Turner, Jane Arnold, Ann Creed, JoAnn Jacks, Theda Gathright, Doris Lenox, Nancy Paschal, Dorothy Lockhart, Eunita Seals, Katie Walt, Eunice Brooks, Jeanette Green, Princella Age, Shirley Word, Sandra Hatton, Evelyn Reed, Ethel Higgins, Girtha Adway, Tina Brown, Barbara Payne, La Grave, Jo McKeown and Gail St. Clair.
Gathright, Jacks and Chism served water, tea and coffee.
Kitchen workers were Hazel Barksdale, Hoaglan, Betty Cecil, Lockhart, Ruggeri, Rogers, Creed, Benson, La Grave, Turchi, Phyliss Tucker, Robinson and Kelley.
Others assisting were Deidre Maxwell, Seals, Anderson, McGarity, Bettye Johnson, Berinda Wallace, Eunice Brooks, Rhinehart, Odessa Wallace, Gardner, Patricia Johnson and Murray.
Other chairmen were Minyard, Turner and Waring, membership; Ruggeri and Rogers, kitchen; Pearson, publicity; and Coles, Winkley and Ruth Bryant, choir servers.