Generosity abounds at annual Valentine’s Day Steak Dinner

Published 12:44 pm Sunday, February 22, 2015

Love was definitely in the air at Byrd’s Chapel United Methodist Church on Saturday, Feb. 14. Love, camaraderie and much laughter filled the fellowship hall as folks poured into the room filling it to near capacity.

Many worked endless hours to make the third annual Valentine’s Steak Dinner a success. Volunteers from Byrd’s Chapel set up, grilled, served and prepared scrumptious homemade salad and deserts for the community to enjoy. The evening highlighted one of Pastor Larry Pickering’s main missions at his beautiful country church. Pickering’s goal is to provide encouragement and support for local people.

What began as one generous benefactor’s idea to bless the church and community with a steak dinner and friendly fellowship a few years ago has morphed into something much more. It has become a wonderful opportunity for folks to help support worthy projects and people. Since its initial year the steak dinner was and still is offered at no charge. An inconspicuous box for donations was located in the fellowship hall, and people give what they feel led to give.

A donation box was placed with hopes of offsetting some of the food costs at the first steak dinner. What a delight and surprise the volunteers experienced as they opened the box to find much more than enough to cover expenses.

According to participants, the generosity of the church and community members has been phenomenal. The church parking lot was surfaced with money raised from previous dinners. This year a family with overwhelming medical expenses was blessed with the proceeds.

What began with one man’s generosity and willingness to reach out to his community has grown each and every year since. People from miles around traveled to enjoy good food and friendly conversation. As a gentleman retired from the Bogalusa Post Office put it, “This is just a wonderful group of people. Sometimes with everything going on in the world it’s easy to look at the bad and forget that there are still plenty of good things and good people. Just look around.”

Kathryn Furr, a retired schoolteacher, said, “It’s such a wonderful thing. Some older people are alone and have no where to go, so I think this is a great idea.”