By Joan Hershberger
“Many hands lighten the work,” especially the work that precedes any community event.
I recently enjoyed the work of others preparing for the Wildlife Hunting Banquet at Marrable Hill Chapel. Except for the little food I brought to share, I sat back and enjoyed his work.
For example, Karen Webb spent weeks planning and preparing unique table decorations for each of the 20 tables. Of course, since it was a wildlife hunting feast in the fall, the tables had fall and hunting themes: a bear, a vase with hanging empty shells, a touch of camouflage fabric, or vases filled with layers of seeds. . In addition, she prepared fall flower arrangements and a variety of gourds made from fabric, yarn, or string to display as table settings.
“You’ve spent a lot of time on this. It looks great,” I told him.
“A long time recently,” she replied, referring to the months since someone had proposed holding the banquet. She also coordinated the making or obtaining of a large number of door prizes. Many people brought home one of those pumpkins as a door prize, a hunting-themed gift, or gift certificates.
The planners even had a door prize for the kids: a BB gun. The lucky boy who won slept through all the festivities that night. What else did we expect? He only has a month. We all laughed that he won and said, “He’s got to become that award.”
Weeks ago, he had heard rumors about the intense decoration that was going on.
“Danny is building a cabin in the gym.”
Well, maybe not exactly a cabin, but he built a set for the small stage that looked like the front of a quaint country cabin with a metal roof overhanging the front porch. It included a cozy set of curtained windows, sturdy wooden steps, and a stovepipe with realistic-looking smoke that lazily climbed to the ceiling. An animal skin was placed on the wooden railing. A small grove of real trees taken from the forest lined the walls to the side of the cabin.
One of the night’s announcements included: “Please make sure you pick up your deer heads before you leave.” Seven head of deer had been provided for the night.
Children’s ministry director Molly Taylor added an element she would have forgotten, activities for the kids: coloring sheets, face painting, s’mores station, and a fishing boat for kids to stand on while they cast fishing lines. toy to “catch prizes”. .” Also, I saw a stall with candy jars renamed to fit the hunting theme: the pretzel sticks were fishing rods and the malt balls labeled deer droppings.
The day before and the day of the banquet Sheryl McKinnon and Kay Johnston and others set up tables, drinks and food. David Murphy and Dicky Palculict fried catfish, hotdogs and fries for the party. Avid hunters brought samples plates of venison chili, venison steaks, fried squirrel and alligator (I think it came from the store).
I didn’t help. I just sat and enjoyed the food (especially the desserts with cherries). The entire group listened in silence as the Arkansas Game and Fish Warden spoke. The noise level increased as names were drawn for the entrance prizes and the winners claimed their prize.
So much time spent planning, preparing and presenting the event. I appreciate the time the organizers took to think of all the details to make it a special evening.
I also want to acknowledge other event organizers in the community. Those of us who come to consume really appreciate everything that has been done. Without your work, creativity and energy, none of this would happen. Thank you to all the people who make El Dorado a fun place to live.
Joan Hershberger is a former staff writer for the El Dorado News-Times and the author of “Twenty Gallons of Milk and Other El Dorado News-Times Columns.”