Sunday in Country dinner dance is Nov. 13


AMENIA — It might be in a different location this year, but expect the same standards in food, drink, music and high spirits for the Sunday in the Country Food Drive’s Annual Dinner Dance, scheduled for Friday, Nov. 13, from 6 to 11 p.m. at the Immaculate Conception Church in Amenia.

The dinner dance is the major annual fundraiser for this group working for to provide holiday dinners for families in need during Thanksgiving and Christmas. Last year’s dance raised nearly $17,000, contributing a healthy portion of the 550 Thanksgiving dinners and 530 Christmas dinners distributed during the 2008 holiday season.

This year a funding goal has been set for the first time by radio personality and food drive founder "NASCAR" Dave MacMillan. Yes, $50,000 is a high number, MacMillan acknowledged, but this year there are just as many families in need as ever. MacMillan said he is confident the community the food drive supports will contribute what they can.

The event has traditionally been held at the Silo Ridge Golf and Country Club on Route 22. However, because of ongoing reconstruction, the space is no longer available. This year the Immaculate Conception Church has provided the space and Silo Ridge will continue to support the food drive cause by donating all the food for the event. MacMillan estimated that out of the $20 ticket price, $8 per ticket would have been spent on purchasing food.

With $5,500 from the Maplebrook School’s CAPS program, as well as $2,500 from the Mark Washburn Memorial Golf Tournament held earlier this year, the food drive’s total stands at $14,000 right now. Last year that number was $30,000 by this time. With donations down across the board, MacMillan is hoping for $8,000 from the dinner dance this year, which would guarantee a full Thanksgiving dinner for 500 families. Where that leaves Christmas is another story, however.

"I don’t believe we’ll be able to get a full Christmas dinner [out to families]," he said. "But all we can do is do the best we can."

New fundraising ideas, like the flocks of plastic turkeys traveling from lawn to lawn in a fun and zany fundraising scheme this past fall, have proven successful, but MacMillan said he believes the problem is the delayed effect of the economic recession.

There are 13 different food pantries in the Tri-state region that Sunday in the Country supports, and not all of them contribute on an equal level. While it’s great to see some of the towns get more involved this year, MacMillan said, with donations down it’s going to be a tough call this Christmas when deciding how to ration out the funds if there isn’t enough to go around.

"Some of these towns are definitely starting to take heed of our cause," MacMillan said. "And if every town does a little bit more than it did last year, well, that helps get us to our ultimate goal."

As of Monday, there were still about 125 tickets left for the dinner dance. If they aren’t sold out by Friday they will be available at the door, but MacMillan also promised that anyone who shows up Friday night will be getting into the event.

"We’ll squeeze ’em in if we have to," he said laughing.

Tickets are $20 and include a full dinner buffet and an hour of free drinking. They can be purchased at the North East Athletic Center and the American Legion Post 178 in Millerton or Jack’s Auto in Wassaic. Live music will be provided by the Schvone sisters, and DJ Joey D will spin favorite tunes for the remainder of the evening.

Anyone unable to attend Friday’s event but still interested in donating to the food drive can send checks to Sunday in the Country Food Drive, PO Box 789, Millerton, NY 12546.

Latest News

Fresh perspectives in Norfolk Library film series

Diego Ongaro

Photo submitted

Parisian filmmaker Diego Ongaro, who has been living in Norfolk for the past 20 years, has composed a collection of films for viewing based on his unique taste.

The series, titled “Visions of Europe,” began over the winter at the Norfolk Library with a focus on under-the-radar contemporary films with unique voices, highlighting the creative richness and vitality of the European film landscape.

Keep ReadingShow less
New ground to cover and plenty of groundcover

Young native pachysandra from Lindera Nursery shows a variety of color and delicate flowers.

Dee Salomon

It is still too early to sow seeds outside, except for peas, both the edible and floral kind. I have transplanted a few shrubs and a dogwood tree that was root pruned in the fall. I have also moved a few hellebores that seeded in the near woods back into their garden beds near the house; they seem not to mind the few frosty mornings we have recently had. In years past I would have been cleaning up the plant beds but I now know better and will wait at least six weeks more. I have instead found the most perfect time-consuming activity for early spring: teasing out Vinca minor, also known as periwinkle and myrtle, from the ground in places it was never meant to be.

Planting the stuff in the first place is my biggest ever garden regret. It was recommended to me as a groundcover that would hold together a hillside, bare after a removal of invasive plants save for a dozen or so trees. And here we are, twelve years later; there is vinca everywhere. It blankets the hillside and has crept over the top into the woods. It has made its way left and right. I am convinced that vinca is the plastic of the plant world. The stuff won’t die. (The name Vinca comes from the Latin ‘vincire’ which means ‘to bind or fetter.’) Last year I pulled a bunch and left it strewn on the roof of the root cellar for 6 months and the leaves were still green.

Keep ReadingShow less
Matza Lasagne by 'The Cook and the Rabbi'

Culinary craftsmanship intersects with spiritual insights in the wonderfully collaborative book, “The Cook and the Rabbi.” On April 14 at Oblong Books in Rhinebeck (6422 Montgomery Street), the cook, Susan Simon, and the rabbi, Zoe B. Zak, will lead a conversation about food, tradition, holidays, resilience and what to cook this Passover.

Passover, marked by the traditional seder meal, holds profound significance within Jewish culture and for many carries extra meaning this year at a time of great conflict. The word seder, meaning “order” in Hebrew, unfolds in a 15-step progression intertwining prayers, blessings, stories, and songs that narrate the ancient saga of the liberation of the Israelites from slavery. It’s a narrative that has endured for over two millennia, evolving with time yet retaining its essence, a theme echoed beautifully in “The Cook and the Rabbi.”

Keep ReadingShow less
Housy baseball drops 3-2 to Northwestern

Freshman pitcher Wyatt Bayer threw three strikeouts when HVRHS played Northwestern April 9.

Riley Klein

WINSTED — A back-and-forth baseball game between Housatonic Valley Regional High School and Northwestern Regional High School ended 3-2 in favor of Northwestern on Tuesday, April 9.

The Highlanders played a disciplined defensive game and kept errors to a minimum. Wyatt Bayer pitched a strong six innings for HVRHS, but the Mountaineers fell behind late and were unable to come back in the seventh.

Keep ReadingShow less