For over 20 years, the Hesston Area Senior Center has been celebrating St. Patricks Day with an authentic Irish dish - potatoes.
In addition, residents wanting to see if they have the luck of the Irish can purchase raffle tickets to win $50 in Chamber Bucks throughout the month. Tickets will be on sale one for $1 or six for $5. The Pot of Gold drawing will be held on April 1 during the Community Breakfast and April Foolish Garage Sale.
Marla Sharp, Director of HAS, said the event was one of the center’s first fundraisers and continues to be a success.
“Everything thinks of having an Irish potato on St. Patrick’s Day. This year, the Potato Bar actually falls on St. Pat’s Day,” she said.
Sharp said the meal is an opportunity for community members to come together and celebrate with a home-cooked meal, provided by dozens of volunteers,
“We order 160 potatoes. It takes 12-15 people just the day of the event. There are things ahead of time, like washing the potatoes, buying supplies. We have volunteers baking cakes before hand. We have people that come in and set up,” said Sharp.
All of the preparations are to accommodate the 120-150 diners who come to HAS for the Irish feast.
This year, Sharp is supplying the three crock pots full of her home made chili to top potatoes.
“We have everything, chili, cheese, bacon bits, broccoli, sour cream, onions, whatever you want to top a potato with,” she said.
This year, proceeds from the event will go toward the purchase of an LED sign for HAS, to be placed atop the existing sign on Main Street.
“We’ve been using banners. This is a better way to let traffic going by our building see what we have going on,” said Sharp.
In the past, Sharp said, LED signs were too costly for HAS. But recent price drops have made the purchase a possibility.
“We plan to advertise activities and put up general information. We are trying to raise about $1,500. These signs used to cost thousands and thousands. Now, organizations our size can afford them. We hope everyone comes out and considers supporting us,” said Sharp.