Holy Family Parish marks 50 years of its fall bazaar

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The 50th annual Holy Family Parish Fall Bazaar is Sunday, Sept. 15, at St. John’s Church in Prairie du Chien. 

Enjoy a charcoal broiled chicken dinner from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Also, homemade chicken noodle soup and chicken salad and ham sandwiches will be served from 4:30 to 6 p.m. 

During the bazaar, entertainment includes raffles, games and refreshments. The raffle drawing at the evening meal is highlighted with a grand prize of $1,000. There will be a country store with produce, crafts and baked goods, a basket raffle and money cage, parcel post and paddle wheel. This will be fun for the whole family, as many more games and activities will fill up the day. 

Tickets are available in advance at the church rectory, Peoples State Bank, Hartig Drug, Piggly Wiggly or by contacting John Fischer at 326-2827. 


By Norb Aschom

You wonder sometimes where the last 50 years went. And as a person reflects on it, you realize there were some pretty good times and we all have much to be thankful for. That thought was brought home to me with the announcement that Holy Family Parish in Prairie du Chien would celebrate its 50th annual Charcoal Broiled Chicken Dinner on Sunday, Sept. 15, from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in the parish hall adjacent to St. John’s Church.

It brought back memories of its beginning. It’s true that there was an annual dinner, but it needed a theme. That was provided by an assistant pastor, Rev. Roy Mish. He came to Prairie du Chien from Arcadia and suggested we serve charcoal broiled chicken. The club agreed and the rest is history. 

Dale Deluhery and Al Duve were the general chairmen, and who’ll ever forget their work on the paddle wheel. Arnie Mara, joined by Frank Fischer, Arnie White and others, cooked the chicken. I think Mara even constructed the cooker. His sons carry on the tradition today. Other active members were Ed White, John Fischer, Francis and Felix Bohonek, Maury Oehler, Joe Prew, Al Krieg, Joe Rod, Frank Svacina, Dr. Jim Wong, Bob Garrity, Maruie Mayer, Bill Halpin, Don Lochner, Andy Novak, Col. Louis DeVito, Wencil Lechnir and so many more. John Fischer has been treasurer for close to 50 years. He not only heads up the noodle-making crew, but he and his wife, Betty, along with Lucy Cornford and others, make the chicken noodle soup that’s always in great demand. Jerry Cummings has also played a key role for many years in the Bazaar.

The school cooks, Albena Sutton and Margaret Gremore, along with Sabina Strnad and Bea Novak were always busy in the kitchen. I can see Pat McCoy and Sally White serving gravy and Nancy Aschom and Faye Rickleff serving chicken. Donna Steiner has been doing that for years too.

That reminds me of Mike Steiner, Mark Forsythe and their chicken run crew that drives to Arcadia on Friday before the event every year to haul back the chicken. What an adventure. That brings to mind Gene Bowar who picked up the chicken in the early years. I got to go with him on one of the first runs. And I haven’t begun to list the games, the kids activities, the Cipra family’s produce booth, the bake sale, the popular basket raffled started by Gail Aspenson.

Maybe I shouldn’t have started naming people and I hope that no one is offended by not being mentioned. It’s taken hundreds of people, working together over the years, to make the Bazaar so successful. It takes a community. But more volunteers are needed. It’s more difficult now than it was 50 years ago to get those volunteers. On Saturday, work begins on the carrots, cabbage, peppers and potatoes and pies. If you can spare an hour or more it would be great. Just stop in. Call Linda Moser or Lucy Cornford if you can work in the kitchen on Sunday. If you can help with the dining room, either during the dinner hour or the supper hour, it’s Jean Ann Dillman and Elaine Gillitzer. Mary Pedretti and Peggy Smith head up the carry-out crews. There are others working on the games, booths, units, etc.

That delicious homemade chicken noodle soup is served from 4:30 to 6 p.m. and there’s the paddle wheel. Chairman Scott Kennedy can use more donations for that. Give him a call or drop off items in the church hall. 

To recognize the 50th year of the charcoal broiled chicken dinner, 1969-2019, souvenir can holders will be given away on Sunday. There’s also an outdoor social on Saturday night from 7 to 10 p.m. with live music, shish kabobs and beverages at no cover charge. All are invited. 

Thanks to the Prairie du Chien area community for its great support. We’re looking forward to another 50 years and more at Holy Family.

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