Threshers Dinner and Auction to Raise Funds for First Presbyterian Church

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Ron Gammill proudly displays a painting by Vickie Bell that she donated for the auction night at the Schoolcraft Presbyterian church’s Threshers Dinner.

By Jackie Skinner

First Presbyterian Church of Schoolcraft is holding a Threshers Dinner with musical entertainment and auction on Saturday, October 11, in the church’s Westminster Hall at 6 p.m. The event is a fundraiser for the church.

Nancy Bambacht, team leader for the event, described it as “Come and get it, dinner is ready….Threshers Style.”

In farming communities years ago, the threshing crew or “ring” was made up of a dozen or so farmers from a neighborhood who spent several weeks each harvest season going from farm to farm to help thresh each farmer’s small grain such as oats or wheat, separating the grain from the chaff.

Threshing was hot, strenuous work and the crew had to be fed hearty meals to maintain their energy. The women of the host farm worked long hours for days before to prepare for the threshers dinner which was served at noon, featuring platters and bowls of homemade food. The threshers were seated at long tables in the farmhouse kitchen or outdoors in the shade. Many have heard stories of this exhausting event from how the kitchen became stifling hot from the wood/coal cook stoves to washing piles of dishes. It has been told that the threshers discussed their favorite dishes served by each farm wife, thus placing them in competition.

Following this tradition, the family style dinner at First Presbyterian will include roast beef, roast turkey, gravy, dressing, mashed potatoes, country style green beans, glazed carrots, rolls, apple butter, pickles, apple pie squares, cookies and beverage. Many of the recipes used are from women of the church who served threshers dinners in their kitchens years ago.

The evening’s entertainment will feature the “Strake Kids,” said Jan McNally, who is in charge of the entertainment. Twins Shayla and Nolan will play several songs on the piano, while big brother Trent will play a few numbers on the electric guitar.

The “FPC Dulcimers,” which includes Ron Gammill, Pastor Bruce Brooks and John Bambacht, will play a couple of numbers on this old mountain folk instrument.

After the entertainment, Auctioneer Ross Woodard Jr., will call the auction which will feature items such as a beautiful custom made wooden bench (with back) that easily seats three people, made and donated to the auction by the Men’s Club at Bickford Cottage; a Pandora bracelet for the ladies; a watercolor painting by Vicki Bell of Schoolcraft; a spaghetti dinner for ten prepared by Nancy Rafferty; a beautiful $6000 Vera Wang wedding gown, size zero; paintings; collector coins and stamps; a dishwasher; a microwave; a refrigerator; gift certificates; and items for kids only.

In 2012, the auction raised over $3000 for the church’s local Schoolcraft missions.

The public is encouraged to bring the family out for an evening of great family fun. For more information, contact Ron Gammill at 492-2935 or Jackie Skinner at 679-5764.

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