WAVERLY TWP. — Co-chairs Holly Gilpin and Ron Whitaker and a committee of 40 people arrived bright and early on a warm late summer morning to prepare a feast for 530 who attended the 46th Annual Labor Day Bull Roast on Sept. 7 at the Waverly United Methodist Church.
Ron Whitaker and “his partner” Steve Bray had sirloin rounds of beef on the spit by 5:30 a.m.
“Five hundred pounds of beef requires approximately 400 pounds of charcoal,” Whitaker, a chef at the Waverly Country Club, Clarks Summit, said as he sliced the beef.
The menu was fit for royalty with 200 pounds of parsley potatoes, sliced tomatoes, 800 ears of corn, homemade baked beans and desserts.
Folks from around the state and as far as New York and New Jersey traveled to Comm Square to share in the holiday gathering.
“The roast brings the community together,” Gilpin said. “People sometimes don’t see folks from year to year, so it’s one big picnic, so to speak.”
When the roast began 46 years ago, the men’s club offered the dinner to raise funds.
“It (the roast) grew to the point where they really needed to include the women and then it became a whole church project,” said Gilpin.
The bull roast is one of two fundraisers held at the church annually and 10 percent of the proceeds go to missions throughout the year, according to Gilpin.
“A number of years ago, we were to the point where we thought we would have to give it up because we didn’t have the help and the community actually came out. They weren’t members of the church, but they came out and supported and helped us the day of the bull roast, so we’ve been able to continue (this event),” he said.
Members of the church’s congregation come from other municipalities including Scranton, Fleetville and Newton Township.
David Gilpin, Newton Township, was seated alongside Church Street, directing traffic to the expanded parking area behind the church. He has volunteered at the bull roast since 1968.
“It (the bull roast) brings a lot of families together that haven’t seen one another in maybe a year, sometimes six months or a couple of years. I think it’s the camaraderie with families,” said David Gilpin.
As for the rain-free day, bright blue sky and temperatures in the high 80s, Holly Gilpin commented, “We are so fortunate and blessed to have this weather.”