On Father's Day, Sunday, June 21st, members of Venturing Crew 63 were found doing what they have been doing every month for the last 3 years. They joined with other volunteers to cook and serve a meal for more than 50 people at Our Lady's Kitchen in Dexter.
The meals are served by five teams of volunteers, consisting of more than 50 parish members and other interested community people.They are led by Kathie Lombard, Our Lady's Kitchen Coordinator and a committee of parish members from Our Lady of the Snows. Three years ago one team was unable to continue serving and it looked as though the kitchen would not serve weekly. That's when then Scoutmaster Ron Potvin asked his Boy Scout Troop if anyone would be interested in helping. Curt Lombard, Kathie's husband, was an Assistant Scoutmaster. "Ninety percent of the boys hands went up, even before they knew it meant meeting there at 8:00 am on a Sunday," said now Venturing Crew Advisor Potvin. The scouts and their leaders and families filled the need once a month since. "Now I'm the Venturing Crew Advisor and the boys and girls in the crew continue the tradition. It's a great service, one we get as much from as we give!"
Our Lady's Kitchen was the brainchild of two Our Lady of the Snows parish members in 2007, Kathie Lombard and Woody Livingston, who both had the same thought about their community during a Bible study group meeting. They both knew that people were hungry. "They were hungry for both food and companionship" said Lombard. Lombard said the Kitchen provides a sit-down meal for whoever walks through the door. There are no income requirements and they welcome all. Free will donations are accepted.
In May of 2008, Our Lady's Kitchen served it's first meal and has served approximately 4,000 meals a year for a total of over 28,000 meals. "The community has been very generous. Our parish has been extremely generous." The Kitchen has donations, some weekly, from local businesses and individuals. "Our donors include Bud's Shop & Save, Dexter, Plum Creek, Maine Highlands FCU. Catholic Charities, Fossa's and Bear's One Stop. In addition, many local farms and individuals provide us with fresh produce from their gardens in season."
Advisor Potvin added, "I couldn't be more proud of these young men and women, as well as their families. I often have parents and siblings show up to help, even on a holiday! This is what scouting is all about. We all learn something about service to our community and how important it is." Lombard added, "Our Lady's Kitchen always welcomes new volunteers." For more information, contact Lombard at 924-2120.
For more information on Venturing contact Advisor Potvin at vcadvisor@troop63bsa.me or 368-2880 or 278-2304.
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