GARDEN CITY — Tradition and fellowship is what brought Lucas Goss and his wife, Kaylee, to the annual Ground Hog dinner at First United Methodist Church.
Lucas Goss said the dinner this year was his first time back in almost five years — both have been in college at Kansas State and moved back four months ago.
“It’s just kind of a tradition to come to this once a year,” he said. “We get to see a lot of people that we know and we’re around our family … it’s just a good time to have fellowship and talk to everybody.”
Megan Allen, a volunteer at the dinner, said she decided to help out because she loves seeing the community and church members come together for a good meal and to support the church.
“This is an awesome event for us because it helps raise money for scholarships and things like that for the church,” she said. “I think it's a really special event.”
The dinner has been going on “forever,” said pastor Joel Plisek. He said it’s a fun way to bring people together and to raise funds for the church’s mission projects.
Sausage, mashed potatoes, biscuits and gravy and pie are served at Tuesday's dinner.
The pork is donated, and all proceeds from the dinner go toward the church and its mission projects.
Plisek said the big project this year is a Numana meal-packing event in March.
At the event, people will measure ingredients and put them into meal bags, which will then be given to malnourished people.
“That’s really going to be exciting,” Plisek said. “We package these meals and they will feed a family, and they get shipped here in the United States, but also abroad.”
According to the Numana website, sach meal consists of “rice, soy protein, freeze-dried pinto beans and a blend of vitamins and minerals targeted to help the immune systems of malnourished.”
In addition to the Numana packing, the proceeds from the dinner will support the church’s outreach mission at the jail; their annual Angel Tree, which gives present to inmates' children and/or families that are low income; and supports scholarships for college students.
Attendee Lori Gechter said supporting the scholarships is one reason why she attends every year.
“We come to have a good meal,” she said. “We got to this church and I like supporting it and … supporting the scholarships for college students.”