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St. Thomas' Spring Salad Luncheon brings hot chicken salad back every year

Hundreds of people are gathering at the 46th annual St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church Spring Salad Luncheon.

Dozens of volunteers are helping with the annual event today at 1331 N. Main St., Elkhart.

Jo Dibley pulled up outside the church about 10:15 a.m. to deliver 15 pounds of potato salad, plus desserts and other items. Women from the church made a total of 27 pans of hot chicken salad, a casserole with chicken, mayonnaise, celery, cheese and crushed potato chips on top.

Carol Pawlak, who oversees the preparation of the salad, said the women cook the chicken and the church provides the pans and other ingredients to combine. It shows up baked at the church and is kept warm until serving at the end of two long sets of tables full of salads.

At this luncheon, a salad is broadly defined. Deviled eggs count. So does Jell-O salad or desserts with whipped topping. In addition there are cookies — lots of cookies — and beverages.

Father Jason Freiburger prayed with the volunteers before the crowd came through the doors. He said the event is good for the church parish community, but extends beyond it. “Food once again connecting us, but so much more,” he said.

Tickets are $7 at the door and salad will be served until 1 p.m.

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