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Child Welfare Club hosts annual luncheon

Sandy Cloran scoops a spatula full of cranberry salad onto a clear plastic plate and passes the dish on down an assembly line of volunteers. First grapes are added, then squares of cheese, bread and chicken salad.

The scene at the Child Welfare Club’s annual luncheon Thursday is one that is surely common to Cloran, who as the club’s correspondent secretary has been volunteering at the event for the past five years.

“It’s out biggest fundraiser of the year,” she said between plates. “I enjoy doing it.”

This year the club served meals to 160 people in the gymnasium of the Ironton Church of the Nazarene. A little fewer than 500 meals were delivered.

“It’s growing every year,” Jane Griffith, the club’s president,0 said. The luncheon serves as the major fundraiser for the club. This year’s fundraiser also commemorated the club’s 90th anniversary.

With a focus on making life better for children, the club uses the funds collected at the luncheon for sponsoring the Eddy Awards as well as donating to programs such as Tools for Schools at St. Paul Lutheran Church, the City Welfare Mission, and various food pantries in the community.

“Our main goal is to make life better for kids,” Griffith said, adding that there are several needs that come up during the year that they do not budget for. The luncheon helps them cover those costs as well.

The 32 club members begin working on the luncheon each December. They start by looking for coupons and sales so that they can save as much money as possible. Then there’s setting up the luncheon and preparing the meals, which is an ordeal in itself.

“Everyone works so well together,” Griffith said.

The community pitches in, too. This year several area businesses donated door prizes for the luncheon.

“They’re wonderful,” Griffith said. “So many people help us out.”