By PETE FONTAINE
The Tri-City Elks long-standing tradition and St. Patrick’s Day Dinner will be remembered as one of the best sharin’ o’ the green celebrations in recent …
By PETE FONTAINE
The Tri-City Elks long-standing tradition and St. Patrick’s Day Dinner will be remembered as one of the best sharin’ o’ the green celebrations in recent memory.
For starters, volunteer Chef Bob Hartington along with Rob DeRemr, who is also an accomplished professional chef, Brian Ashness and Eric Lopes cooked what Lodge 14 members like Harry Edwards called “the best St. Patty’s Dinner I ever had here.”
The kitchen crew combined 160 pounds of tender corned beef, 120 pounds of potatoes, 30 pound of onions, 25 pounds of carrots –peeled and cut – as well as one case of cabbage and of course countless loaves of traditional Irish soda bread for the 2022 Irish food fest.
“Bob (Hartington) and the guys in the kitchen worked hard for two straight days and delivered this delicious dinner,” Edwards said. “They even topped it off with ice cream and crème de mint if you wanted it!”
However, that was just one part of last Saturday’s Irish bash, which was held amid a sea of green and items like shamrocks, differed slogans such as “Happy St. Patrick’s Day” and other unique wall-hangings that created festive mood courtesy of the decorating committee of Marianne Beirne, Deb Petisce, Carol DeLory and Sue Hartington.
Many dinner-goers that totaled 140-plus people – which was up from the 94 dinners served back in 2020 as COVID-19 wiped out the 2021 affair -- praised the committee citing “there was a special family and friendly atmosphere in this room tonight.”
“Even the serving system was wonderful,” people like Exalted Ruler Deb Mangina and others emphasized of Hartington calling out the numbers of playing cards that was placed on each table tops and determined when another table could go through the food line.
Highlight of the evening was the performance of the Damsha Irish Dance Studio’s Step Dancers dressed in traditional Irish garb.
Immediately following the raffle drawing, which was highlighted in part by Hartington being assisted by his granddaughter Devon Ashness, 5, who pulled the winning tickets, the dinner chair announced that in keeping with tradition the group take a collection to help support the Damsha Studio’s Foundation.
Upon completion of volunteers collecting differeent size donations, Hartington announced and thanked everyone, “you just raised $380.”
Enter Lopes, a valued member of Lodge 14 who serves as a part-time bartender, came scooting up to Hartington waving a $20 bill and challenged others to follow suit.
Soon thereafter other people stepped up and by night’s end the Damsha Irish Dance Studio – which owned and operated by Collen Kenyon and Grainne Conley and located in Warwick –added $464 to its foundation.
“Tonight has been fantastic!” Hartington offered before putting down a hand-held microphone. “Thank you to everyone for coming and making our St. Patrick’s Day Party extra special!”
Likewise, people praised Lopes’ efforts emphasizing “Here’s a man who volunteered and worked two days to prepare tonight’s feast then went into his pocked to further help support the great dance troupe.”
After which Lopes offered: “That’s what we as Elks do; Elks Care and “Elks Share – always!”
No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here