Farm families honored at dinner
The Farm Family Appreciation program is held almost every year at the Union Fire Company field house in Hamburg, Berks County.
Though the program began 20 years ago, this was only the 18th dinner/dance as two were missed for various reasons, said Pastor Mary Gade of the program committee.
Doors were scheduled to open at 6:30 p.m. but this night someone came to the door and called out that people should fill up the spaces at the tables because there were so many attending.
Members of farm families eat for free. Their supporters pay a reasonable fee for dinner. This year there were 850 farmers and supporters.
At one year’s dinner almost 900 attended the event.
Maybe the high number of attendees included the many little leprechauns attending this year’s event.
There were people wearing Irish shirts and green hats. Shamrocks and leprechauns decorations were taped to the bleachers.
Irish coloring pictures and a word search were on the back of the place mats. There were crayons at each place for kids to do the coloring.
Whenever the dinner is near a holiday people also celebrate the special day.
The Outlaws were scheduled to provide the music and a square-dance caller, Paul Adams, known throughout Berks County was waiting his turn at the microphone.
Veterans, both active and retired, were recognized along with their families.
There were two classifications of sponsors. The major sponsors were the granges, banks, Penn State Extension and an insurance company. Congregational and other sponsors were many churches, more granges and Eckroth Farm Equipment.
A prayer, written originally by Pope Francis in 2016, was recited “Maker of heaven and earth, we bless you and give you glory. Bless this seed and make it fruitful. Look upon our work this season and grant that the seeds we plant will produce plentiful crops, providing work and food for many.”
The Rev. Dr. Samuel Zeiser, Bishop of the Northeastern Pa. Lutheran Synod, was the announcer for the evening.
Editors from Lancaster Farming were on hand. They attended the past five years, but they were enjoying the evening, not working.
John and Lorrie Rauch of Lynn Township said the recently enjoyed a Hawaii vacation but now were enjoying the dinner and dance.
John is trying to grow a 2,000-pound pumpkin. Lorrie wins baking contests at the fairs and farm show.
The caller said people should get their squares ready for a grand hoedown.
“Two couples up here in the middle of the floor,” he called as people fill the floor.” Your partners on the right – your partners on the left. Everybody swing and promenade.”