Reaping the benefits of a Harvest Dinner


In a word, Creswell is nothing if not traditional. When autumn breezes in and begins to settle around us, Creswell’s First Presbyterian Church opens its doors to the community on the first Friday of November as it has for more than 80 years welcoming everyone to their annual Harvest Dinner.
Hundreds of townspeople lined up outside Fellowship Hall as friends and neighbors joined together for a feast of traditional holiday fare. Turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes and gravy and all the fixings, served as you like it with a rich slice of pumpkin or apple pie to top it off.
Event organizer, Karen Heater, who’s been part of the Harvest Dinner for as long as she can remember said, ”The dinner line started at 4:30 p.m. even though we don’t begin serving until 5,” Heater said. ”Last year we had 20 turkeys and ran out. This year we ordered 24. Serbu Center in Eugene cooks and delivers the birds we buy locally. A good portion of the food, like pies and rolls are donated.”
As for the amount of people working in the kitchen, Heater laughed and said, ”Oh, I don’t know. At least half of the congregation.”
Many hands make light work, and the final tally shows nearly 400 dinners were served with 137 take out orders.
Just outside Fellowship Hall, The Country Store was stocked with a variety of holiday decorations and gift items. Idyllic themes of winter’s wonderland from skaters to snowmen and Santa lined tables accompanied by candles, wreaths, aprons, jewelry and fabric totes of all types.
Most items are handmade throughout the year, one of which was a queen size quilt made for a raffle. Kim Kuhnhausen was the raffle winner of the Presbyterian Women’s Association project.
Near closing time at the Country Store, Jo Fitzgerald and Diane Safley said they ”were a lot younger this morning.” It takes the Presbyterian ladies about three days to set up the Country Store. When the event closes, many items are donated to The Santa Store at Creswell Middle School.
Proceeds from the Harvest Dinner are donated to a variety of missions or causes the congregation feels impact the community most.



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