NEWBERRY — Around 500 community members and friends enjoyed fellowship, oysters and fun at a benefit for St. Paul Lutheran Church on Saturday night.
The church members, whose sanctuary and educational building burned in a January fire, received 100 percent of ticket sales to go toward the St. Paul restoration fund.
Fundraiser committee chairwoman Alison White spoke of the overwhelming community support the church has received.
“It’s a case of shock and awe really,” she said upon seeing the steady crowd at the oyster roast. “In wake of all the bad things you see in the world in the media, then to come out and see this community support helps restore your faith that goodness is in the world. Even with all the continuing fundraisers we have held since the fire, we continue to have huge turnouts of support. We are so blessed to be supported by so many as we work to rebuild our sanctuary and educational building.”
At first the committee expected to sell a few hundred tickets but turnout was so strong that they sold around 500. Over 95 percent of the items needed for the roast were donated as well.
The congregation thanks the Palms restaurant for hosting the event and gives a special thanks to all the volunteers who donated countless hours to make it possible. These continued community events are part of the efforts to help the congregation rise from the ashes from a structural standpoint, and in some ways an opportunity for a rebirth spiritually, as well.
Community members are welcome anytime to come share in worship or attend other events the congregation is holding on Folk Street at the old Pomaria Elementary School.
In May, the congregation will hold two more outdoor worship services on Highway 773 on the church grounds, weather permitting. Those two 10 a.m. services are May 12 and May 19. All are welcome.