Ladies’ Fall Luncheon draws record crowd

ALL SHAPES AND SIZES’This table, decorated by Laurie Slone and Jamye Graves was stacked high with several birdhouses. the theme the team of decorators chose for this table was “Country Garden.” Continuing with the festive fall theme of fun and fellowship, over 400 ladies from McCulloch County and from across the state participated in the Sixth Annual Ladies Fall Luncheon at the First Baptist Church’s Family Life Center. Organized six years ago by Maurice Mallow and Wanda Burns the “Round Table Luncheon” has grown and evolved into what is now known as the Ladies Luncheon. “We actually got the idea from a similar event we attended at a church in Houston,” said Mrs. Mallow. “We decided to use the idea to help raise funds to buy the round tables we now have for the Family Life Center. All of the funds that are raised are put back into the Center to purchase whatever is needed, whether it be exercise equipment or kitchen equipment.” In a concerted effort that included a group of 20 or so volunteers led by co-chairs Lorna Moore and Cathy Barksdale, the event gave family and friends from across the community a chance to gather and visit for several hours. “I honestly believe that this was one of the largest gatherings of ladies in one place in McCulloch County ever,” said Mrs. Mallow. “We had 42 tables, most with 10 seats and some with 12 and they all were full. We never thought it would evolve into this. The camaraderie is almost as much fun as the luncheon itself. There is no competition, just good wholesome fellowship.” In the years since the first “Round Table Luncheon,” the event has evolved into a celebration that has adopted projects each year. Three years ago, the theme was socks and shoes that were collected for a Russian orphanage. Last year, the theme was centered around collecting supplies for the Haven, McCulloch County’s shelter for abused women. This year, the theme involved a money basket that raised $470 for the Haven. Table decorations ranged from a patriotic display of red, white and blue to a stack of birdhouses artfully crafted as a centerpiece to a table filled with memorabilia from the Nutcracker. Each of the 42 tables accounted for hours of time and effort as preparations had begun as early as Thursday. “This year’s co-chairs really did a great job,” said Mrs. Mallow. “We have already had people sign up to come back next year and participate in what will surely be another incredible event.”

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