Grand Lake: Delicious Dishes longest running fundraiser in Grand County |

Grand Lake: Delicious Dishes longest running fundraiser in Grand County

by Cyndi McCoy
Grand Lake, Colorado

A simple chicken and biscuit dinner can go a long way in Grand Lake.

Nothing fancy, just good home cooking for a good cause; at least that’s what the Delicious Dishes organization had in mind when it hosted its debut Christmas Project fundraiser 19 years ago.

The idea came from a similar event at volunteer Julie Hill’s former church. She shared the idea with a couple of friends and soon it was a signature benefit for needy families in Grand County through the Mountain Family Center.

The event has become one of the longest-running benefits in the county.

The Delicious Dishes raised about $400 its first year, with help from people like Mike Gray, whom organizer Kathy Lewis said was a lifesaver those first couple of years (benefiting the Grand County Resource Center).

In its 19-year history, the Delicious Dishes Christmas Project has raised more than $100,000 to help out families in Grand County. The dinner soon outgrew its venue at the Grand Lake Golf Course restaurant, moved to the Daven Haven, and raised around $7,000 for the Mountain Family Center last year.

“There’s such a great need for it this year,” Lewis said. “It feels good to do this for them.”

Lewis said the event has been “a blast.” It was her previous catering company that lent the event its name and she and several other area residents help put on the event each year. Other loyal organizers include Carey Barnes, Anne Mahoney, Carla Lawn, Lauren Gompertz-Norby, Carol Wolff, Cyndi Stewart, and Sharon Peterson.

Other volunteers who lend a hand every year include several from the Mountain Family Center board of directors (including Director Jill Korkowski), good-hearted dish room pearl divers J.R. Wolff, Bernie McGinn, and John Fleming; as well as Barnes and the Daven Haven Lodge restaurant. Barnes, who is famous for her holiday decorating decks out more than a handful of varied, themed Christmas trees which adds to the festive holiday atmosphere.

The event starts out with a chicken and biscuit dinner, with vegetable side, dinner rolls and mashed potatoes and gravy. Participants not only load up on a down-home meal, but have fun with their families and neighbors. Musician Steve Cormey will be there to entertain with live music.

“It’s a great way to start the holiday,” Lewis said.

For dessert, the event includes a baked goods sale. Top sellers have included several decadent cheesecakes and kids get a free cupcake or cookie (while supplies last).

Crafts of all kinds will also be for sale during the event. Famed and lively auctioneer Ed Peterson will also once again host an auction with sales to benefit the Mountain Family Center. Items are all geared to be mostly modestly priced.

Big auction items in previous years have included ski passes from the Grand Lake Touring Center, golf passes from the Grand Lake Golf Course, fine jewelry, as well as local returning favorites from the Waconda (including their homemade schnapps specialties).

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

Local stores who help pull together donations to support the benefit include food items from the Granby City Market store, Granby Dairy, Daven Haven Lodge, Mountain Food Market and Circle D grocery in Grand Lake, and purveyors like Noble-Sysco and Lombardi Meats. Donations for the event are still being accepted and encouraged.

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