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Loafer's Week brings in a crowd for service, food, cards

Loafer's Week brings in a crowd for service, food, cards

February 23rd, 2011 in News

Mandi Steele/FULTON SUN photo: (From left) Walter Williams, Chuck Ball, Earl Ingrum, Robert Shuck and Donald Bryan play a game of five-point pitch Tuesday afternoon at Auxvasse Community Hall. The five men are all from Mexico and came to Auxvasse to participate in Loafer's Week. Card games and peanuts are two of the hallmarks of the community's longstanding winter tradition.

So many people showed up Tuesday at the Auxvasse Community Hall yammering for some fried chicken, that the Fulton Masonic Lodge No. 48 that prepared it sold out.

Gary McCormack, lodge member, said he only remembers one other time the lodge has ever sold out of chicken during its turn to prepare a meal at Auxvasse Loafer's Week. He estimated members sold more than 150 plates of food during the noon meal. Tuesday's meal, at $7 a plate, served as a fundraiser for the lodge. Each day of Loafer's week, going on now through Saturday, a different group will serve food in an effort to raise money for its organization.

Auxvasse Elementary School seventh and eighth graders were busy bussing tables and filling drinks during the meal. Rachel Salmons, kindergarten teacher and member of the school's community service committee, said Auxvasse Elementary will bring 10 students to the hall each day of Loafer's week as part of their community service project.

"We just like to serve our community and make well-rounded citizens," Salmons said. "We address (the students') academics every day, but we need to teach them to be good citizens, too."

Eighth-grader Cole Branson, 14, helped his classmates tidy the hall after most people were finished with their food. He said the service project helps students stay active in the community and gives them a chance to show their generosity.

"It's a good idea for us to come. It lets the community see us kids out and about," Branson said.

Chuck Ball of Mexico drove to Auxvasse with four of his former co-workers Tuesday to enjoy some fellowship and food. The five men arrived at the hall at 8:30 a.m. and started playing cards, breaking long enough to eat lunch and then they were back at it. The group used to all work at A.P. Green in Mexico until it closed down.

"We come up here about every year," Ball said.

He said the group would probably stick around eating peanuts and playing cards, traditions of Loafer's Week, until about 2 p.m.

"We have been run out before," Robert Shuck put in, referring to how they usually stay as long as the hall allows them to.

Pam Board and Maria McCully also decided to play cards after eating their fried chicken. The mother and daughter from Auxvasse said they came out to the hall for the "good food," and make it to Loafer's Week every year. McCully said she knows many of the locals that come to the event, but there are others who travel quite a distance to participate.

"They come from far and wide," she said.