Fun, food and a fundraiser on tap at annual Grand Lake feast |

Fun, food and a fundraiser on tap at annual Grand Lake feast

Cyndi Palmer
Sky-Hi Daily News

Courtesy photoCyndi Stewart, one of the local "dishes" that helps put on the annual Delicious Dishes benefit for the Mountain Family Center, has been up to her oven mitts in baked goods for the fundraiser, mixing up about seven dozen cupcakes and 12 dozen cookies. She said it's a wonderful thing to be able to contribute to the community.

There’s something to be said about a simple chicken and biscuit dinner ” nothing fancy, just good home cooking.

That is exactly what the Delicious Dishes had in mind when the fundraiser was established 18 years ago, an idea that started with Julie Hill and a couple of friends to benefit needy families in Grand County through the Mountain Family Center. Hill had gotten the idea from her church, which hosted a similar event.

“It’s a blast,” said Kathy Lewis, one of the locals who helps put on the event every year and whose previous catering company lent the event its name.

“People have fun and can bring their families. It’s a great way to start the holiday.”

Other “dishes” organizing the annual benefit include Carol Ann Thompson, Anne Mahoney, Carla Lawn, Lauren Gompertz-Norby, Meg McDonough, Claire McGrath, Cindy Meyer, Carol Wolff, and Cyndi Stewart.

Loyal volunteers who also lend a hand every year include Ed and Sharon Peterson who help out as auctioneer and all-around help (respectively), the Mountain Family Center board of directors, the dishwashing crew of J.R. Wolff, Bernie McGinn, and John Fleming; as well as Carey Barnes and the Daven Haven Lodge restaurant, which gets decked out for the holidays.

For just $10 ($5 for children ages 12 and under) diners are treated to a chicken and biscuit dinner, complete with vegetable side, and mashed potatoes and gravy. For dessert, the event includes a baked goods sale. Items to satisfy those sweet tooths include chocolate jalepeno swirl and raspberry swirl cheesecakes, back by popular demand from Meyer. The ladies will also be passing out free cupcakes and cookies for kids while supplies last.

There will also be crafts for sale, as well as a modestly priced auction.

“We try to make everything affordable,” Lewis said. “It’s a family thing, and we want people to come and enjoy their night.”

Auction items include ski passes from the Grand Lake Touring Center, golf passes from the Grand Lake Golf Course, jewelry donated by Mine Design, as well as local returning favorites by businesses such as the Waconda and their homemade schnapps specialties. Seventh-graders from East Grand Middle School have also created Christmas cards to sell at the event.

Local stores pull together to support the benefit. Many food items have been donated by the Granby City Market store and Granby Dairy, Daven Haven Lodge, Mountain Food Market and Circle D grocery in Grand Lake, Noble-Sysco and Lombardi Meats.

The Delicious Dishes raised about $400 its first year, with help from people like Mike Gray, whom Lewis said “was our lifesaver those first couple of years.” Lewis said the group didn’t know who to donate the money to and eventually chose the Grand County Research Center.

Back then, the dinner was also held at the Grand Lake Golf Course restaurant with Lucy and Delbert Hillman until the popular benefit outgrew the venue.

Since then Delicious Dishes has raised a total of approximately $100,000 to help out families in Grand County.

“It’s been a great project for almost 20 years and is probably one of the longest-running benefits in the county,” Lewis said.

Dinner is served starting at 5 p.m. with the event to round out around 9 p.m.

Donations are still being accepted and encouraged. For more information call Lewis at (970) 627-8580.