GRAND FALLS-WINDSOR, NL — The small deep freeze in the kitchen at the Pentecostal Church in Grand Falls-Windsor is filled to the top with cookies of all kinds.
Nanaimo bars, date squares and lemon squares are wrapped in tidy packages for a Saturday afternoon bake sale and lunch.
These aren’t the only treats that will be available for the Mcjoyful event on Dec. 2, which begins at 10:30 a.m.
Arlene Elliott says two quarters of moose meat have been made into a thousand moose burgers, 40 pounds of dried beans will be baked, and volunteers will also whip up 16 stock pots full of soup, six pots of chilli and three pots of fish stew.
Of course there will be plenty of hotdogs available for the kids, and for those who absolutely love the taste of moose, there will be 10 moose hearts — stuffed and sliced as an added treat.
To top it off, more than a dozen volunteers will bring more than a few desserts to clew up the meal.
And in the end, over 1,000 orphans who live in a country far away, in the Ukraine, will benefit from the cooking, baking and serving of this meal at the Pentecostal Church on King Street.
It’s been an annual tradition since 2001, explained Elliott, who works as an administrative assistant at the Pentecostal Church.
“Our interest started when one of our pastors went to the Ukraine in 1999 and saw the condition of the orphanages over there,” she told The Advertiser.
“Our fundraising started with a yard sale, and then we added the moose burger and bake sale for Christmas.”
They set the date for the lunch and bake sale on the same day as the Santa Claus parade in the town, she added.
“So when people finish watching the parade, they can come over here and enjoy a good lunch and help our fundraiser.”
Last year the Mcjoyful moose burger and bake sale in Grand Falls-Windsor raised $17,125.
Elliott said every bit of that money went directly to the orphans, providing them with a special dinner out — giving them a chance to enjoy a restaurant meal for a change — and bought a supply of vitamins for them.
They helped about 1,200 children, she said.
She also explained that Ed Dickson, a Canadian who now lives in the Ukraine, has dedicated his life to helping abandoned children and seniors. He ensures the money raised is spent on children.
She adds a fundraiser like this would not come together without the volunteers. The event does not just involve the Pentecostal Church but all faiths, she said, and is made possible with the help of people from throughout the community.
About 60 people are involved in the cooking, baking and serving, she said.
The moose meat comes through a charity licence, and the group is also friends with a fellow who runs an outfitting lodge, who donates moose meat from hunters who don’t want to take all the meat back home with them.
Elliott says the group also accepts donations for their “Loads of Love” registered charity, and cards will be available at Saturday’s lunch for anyone who would like to give a little extra.
Meanwhile, she and the other volunteers are busy making sure everything is in order for Saturday’s lunch.
The event will be at the Pentecostal gym, running from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Dec. 2, and people can eat-in or take-out.
Elliott and her volunteers are also willing to deliver to groups of more than 10.
To arrange delivery, call 486-5334.