From the Comporium Pioneer Archives
2006-Troop Support (The Miracle of the Hotdogs)
There is a ton of information that has to be given to the soldiers and their families before the deploy overseas The Family Readiness Group provides a meal for the soldiers and their families during each information session. Most of the time the soldiers are divided into smaller groups, so meals are planned for groups of around 50 or so. This time there was to be a big meeting of all the troops and their families which would mean there would be around 500 instead of 50 people to feed. Our club was asked by the Family Readiness Group if we could donate something to help with one of these information events. Our club met and decide that not only would we help with the event we would provide the full meal for the 500+ people who would be attending the meeting. The ladies who were in charge of the event were shocked to say the least. They wanted to know if we thought we could handle everything by ourselves. Now knowing how our group is we knew this would be a piece of cake.
The community services committee met to see what we could plan that would be relatively inexpensive and easy to fix and still be good to eat. We decided on a hot dog dinner with all the trimmings, mustard, ketchup, relish, mayonnaise, chili, onions, baked beans, and slaw along with soft drinks and Little Debbie’s for dessert. We had our list of what and how much of each item would be needed and then the pricing began. We contacted the Merita Bakery and got a really good price for fresh buns for the hotdogs, only we would have to pick them up from the bakery since they could not deliver this large amount of buns to a local store. One of our members had a good friend who owned a restaurant and got the hotdogs and baked beans for us at cost. This same gentleman decide that this was such a worth while event that he would donate homemade chili to go with the hotdogs. Another restaurant was called and asked how much slaw it would take for 1000 hotdogs. When the owner of this restaurant found out what the Pioneers were doing, they donated 15 gallons of slaw—plenty to feed 500 people. We send out notices to the Pioneers and had an article put in our weekly company newsletter asking for donations. When our company executives found out about the project, they chipped in and donated $300.00 to help with the costs of the event. Pioneers and Comporium employees were asked to help by providing drinks, chips, and Little Debbie’s for dessert. Donations poured in and by the time they were sorted we knew we would have plenty of food to “Feed the Troops” we made a list of the volunteers and who was to do what. We had to transport the food items to the site of the meeting, and this in itself was a task. We had so much food and drinks that it took two trucks, a company van, and a car to transport the items for the event.
One of the ladies in the Operator Services department said she would supply decorations for the serving tables. She made huge bows that of course were red, white, and blue. These along with the flags made perfect decorations for the serving tables. Pioneers helping for the day were asked to wear red, white, and blue. Flag stickers were provided for each Pioneer, so we all looked very festive and patriotic.
We arrived at the meeting area, unloaded the vehicles, put up tables and two of the men from our company started the grill. We chopped onions, cooked hotdogs, and baked beans. We got everything ready and just in time. The Adjutant General from the area announced we had an hour to get everyone fed. We manned our stations and the food line started. We served what seemed like hours, but in reality, was only 43 minutes according to the commander in charge. He was impressed that we managed to feed 574 people in less than an hour and this did not count the Pioneers who were helping. Soldiers came back for seconds and some even the third time and we still had plenty of food left. We started thinking of places that could use the extra food. Several places came to mind—we took food to the Children’s Attention Home, Girls Home and to Sister Help. We still had food left over so we decided that we would have a hotdog sale on Monday during lunch and donations from this event would be used for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Walk.
The day was a total success. The troops and their families were fed. We took food to three agencies and made money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Walk. We likened this project to the story of Jesus and the “Loaves and Fishes” because the hotdogs just seemed to multiply!!!