GUILFORD — The Last Supper was Jesus' final meal with the Apostles in Jerusalem before his crucifixion, according to Gospel accounts.
The Last Strawberry Supper at the Guilford Community Church on June 18 will mark the end of a decades-long summer tradition in which families meet and eat ham, baked beans, deviled eggs, potato salad, coleslaw, fresh baked rolls and of course, strawberry shortcake.
"We had a big fundraising summit in April to look at it," said Fred Breunig, chairman of the committee organizing the event. "We discussed a lot of different things and decided we'd go for one more then retire it."
Several factors were at play. Finding volunteers after a sugar-on-snow event in March and a pie sale on Memorial Day weekend was becoming more difficult. A drop in attendance likely could be attributed to summer vacation plans. And there was the increasing cost of food.
Two seatings at 5 p.m. or 6:30 p.m. are available. The meal costs $12 for adults, $6 for children 11 and under and $3 for preschoolers. For reservations, call Breunig at 254-9019 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Each seating can fit 120 people, so 240 all together. A table also is set up to accommodate overflow.
The Strawberry Supper tends to attract people who show up the day of the event without making reservations. Being the last one, Breunig said he hopes the event will be sold out but noted that people haven't been "flocking" to make reservations.
Roughly 10 years ago, the number of seatings offered was reduced from three to two. Attendance had been good for a year or two, according to Breunig. But last year, the two seatings were not filled.
"It seemed to be the writing on the wall," said Breunig. "Whether the menu is becoming less popular or people's diets are changing, we're not attracting the clientele we used to."
The strawberry shortcake has "real whipped cream," Breunig said.
"We get heavy cream and whip it up the traditional way as opposed to squirting it out of the can. It's basically all you can eat," he said of the dinner. "We've always had good feedback. People say it's a great supper."
All proceeds benefit the church, which supports over 20 local programs and organizations that serve the community.
Next month's fundraiser will see members of the congregation selling refreshments at the Guilford Welcome Center. Then the church will have a food booth at the Guilford Fair in September. After the pie sale in the fall comes a Christmas bazaar.
Contact Chris Mays at email@example.com or 802-254-2311, ext. 273.