Magazine: Feeding Friends in Landeck, Ohio
It is such a wonder to see how life changes. If someone told me at the beginning of my career in finance that I would spend Mardi Gras 2020 in rural Ohio serving food and raising money for a church, I would have thought they were pulling my chain. Driving down a dirt road in rural Ohio with winter winds smacking the outside of the car is probably the last thing anyone considers when thinking of a day trip to a Mardi Gras celebration.
But this was more than just a holiday get-together; it was the fabric of a community collaborating to help their church survive. After spending time with St. John 76 that day, I knew I was fallacious for spending past Mardi Gras any other way.
Tony Streit, a member of Catholic Order of Foresters Sales & Marketing Team, joined me on the trip. As we made our way down an unmarked road, winds stirred up stronger and stronger. Tony, who was in Ohio for agent training, wanted to gain firsthand experience at a Feeding God’s Children event. Since this was a Feeding God’s Children event in conjunction with a Matching Funds event, I thought this was the perfect time to give Tony a glimpse into the Fraternal Outreach sphere. Tony and I stepped into what looked like a schoolhouse from the turn of the twentieth century. Inside, the delicious smell of food simmered in pots in the back of the building. In the front, friends gathered in anticipation of the pre-Lenten feast. Tony and I were hungry, too. Our noses guided us to a food preparation assembly line manned by St. John 76 members. When the food was ready, attendees picked what they wanted to take home or serve to other community members.
James Miller, Chief Ranger of St. John 76, explained, “This is an event where we have people coming together to raise money, have some good food, and share what we have with others.” Agent Don Wiechart states, “This is something we try to do annually, and it is really great to see everyone come together.” While seeing the operation in full swing, it was clear this event was special. After meeting with different community members, priests, and event organizers, I saw the familiar face of Vice High Chief Ranger David Krebs. I greeted him and we struck a conversation about the draw of Catholic Order of Foresters events.
I left, and on the car ride home, I talked to Tony about the dinner. We praised the food and concluded there’s no better feeling than being part of a charitable community of people with shared values.
Article by Michael Cesario