Church Stand Celebrating 100 Years at the Bloomsburg Fair

BLOOMSBURG, Pa. -- When some people come to the Bloomsburg Fair, they want to try the newest foods. But others look forward to the homestyle cooking at St. John's Community Church stand.

"You want to sit down and have a good meal and they come. They come in," volunteer Sharon Sober said.

St. John's Community Church stand is celebrating a milestone this year -- 100 years at the Bloomsburg Fair. The church is based in Catawissa and started at the fair as a fundraiser. Everyone here is a volunteer.

"Coming in at 5 in the morning and leaving at 7 at night every day, but it's something I like to do and it's rewarding," Gary Roberts said.

Roberts and most of the others have been helping at the stand since they were young.

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"As a young kid, we helped serve meals and we helped clean tables," said Roberts.

"I'm proud of it," said Charles Fisher. "Like Gary says, it's rewarding."

Fisher is 81 and gets here every morning at 5 a.m. to help prepare breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

"I get the chipped beef and the sausage gravy. I take care of the scrambled eggs and whatever else needs done."

So how does the church stand stick out among 1,000 vendors? Volunteers say it's their reputation.

"They know they can come in and get a good home-cooked meal and friendly people. The fact that we have a building, they can come in and relax and get out of the rain," Sharon Sober said.

Another secret to their success is the people who run this stand, including Dawn Wright. When Dawn was a little girl, she helped out by putting napkins on the tables. Now at age 88, she is a greeter.

"I love this church stand. My heart and soul is with it," Wright said.

Volunteers say they wouldn't be able to do this without help from other churches. They plan to have the stand for as long as they are able.

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