For more than 40 years, the United Methodist Women (UMW), at Randall’s Chapel United Methodist Church has hosted Salad Day every July to support their Missions projects.
More than 200 people from the city turn out to support the event each year, dining in or taking out salad plates for only $5 each.
With the help of the church congregation, the small group of 10 women prepares a vast array of salad choices like congealed, pasta, vegetable, meat and fruit.
“We are a small group and some of us are aging and not able to do as much as we used to,” said Betty Richey, president of UMW, “so if we didn’t have the congregation’s help we couldn’t do it.
“No one has an assigned dish, they just bring what they enjoy making,” she continued. “The chicken salad is one of the most popular items we have, and everyone just prepares it by their own recipe.”
This year, Richey prepared three congealed salads that disappeared quickly among the hungry guests.
“I made cherry, strawberry and lime this time,” she said. “My favorite is the cherry congealed salad. The recipe came from my sister-in-law and I like it because it can be prepared for dieters or just the regular way.”
Richey said the event is popular among townspeople who enjoy meeting and talking to each other and visiting with friends they do not see often.
“It’s kind of a social thing,” she said. “We get people from other churches and town folk.
“Tim Haston, of People’s Independent Bank always supports us by getting plates for all of his staff,” she continued. “We get lots of people from different offices like Verizon, too. We put the sign out front and people passing by stop and join us.”
Richey has helped with Salad Day many times, and remembers one in particular.
“Several years ago, we had the most awful rain storm,” she said. “I thought no one would show up, but the town turned out and supported us so much. The people here are so wonderful.”
Funds from the event are used to support causes like The Boys and Girls Club, Turning Point Pregnancy Center, Upper Sand Mountain Parrish and Camp Sumatanga.
“Recently,” Richey said, “we helped the UMW of Northeast Alabama with backpacks for kids, too. We took bags and bags of supplies to Trinity Church in Huntsville that were distributed to school children.
“We also do layettes to send to Honduras and Guatemala,” she said. “We get a list from our president of the Northeast district and it tells us what to put in them. It is all baby supplies like blankets and clothes.”
Each year, the UMW reaches out to children in Honduras with shoeboxes filled with items that are shipped from Trinity Church.
“We also support the Methodist Children’s Home in Scottsboro,” Richey said, “and provide scholarships, as well.”
In February, the UMW will host its annual Soup Day and the public is once again invited to attend.
“We really appreciate the community so much for all of the support they have shown over the years,” Richey said.