Erin Connolly (right) and other volunteers serve up food during the 2016 edition of the Jack Wax Party. This year, the Thurman Station Association has taken over conducting the event, and volunteers and donations are being sought to continue the tradition of the party, which extends back into the 1930s.
THURMAN — A campaign is now underway to enlist volunteers and raise money to pay costs of hosting the town’s beloved annual Jack Wax party, after the state Health Department has banned the practice of serving homemade dishes at the popular benefit event.
The 85-year tradition of a community supper that welcomes in spring while raising money for charity will now feature food prepared by restaurants or certified commercial kitchens — and money is needed to bankroll associated costs.
Proceeds from the dinner, scheduled this year for 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday March 11, are to be donated to the American Cancer Society, as they have for nearly 60 consecutive years.
The Thurman Station Association, a local group of community volunteers, has stepped in to take over the Jack Wax Party after controversy erupted over the handling of the party’s proceeds occurred late last year and the former town board decided to conduct oversight of the event — but a new town board in January rescinded the resolution that both established town involvement and named former town Deputy Supervisor Susan Shepler to organize the event.
Without town board oversight and Shepler no longer in charge, the Association members decided to take over the event, TSA president Perky Granger said this week. The group took on organizing the Jack Wax Party to keep the treasured community tradition alive, and assure that finances of the event were handled responsibly and proceeds would be delivered on a timely basis to the charity as the public expects, she said.
Money is needed for the purchase of food from restaurants, associated supplies, and volunteers will be contacting local residents for monetary donations. Also, an online Go Fund Me campaign has been launched to help defray costs associated with the benefit event. The web address is: https://www.gofundme.com/seed-maple-party-cancer-dinner.
As of Feb. 14, $920 has been raised from 22 donors in six days, surpassing the goal of $900 — but Granger said that all money collected beyond expenses will go to the American Cancer Society.
Sheila Flanagan, town justice and co-owner of the acclaimed Nettle Meadow Farm, is coordinating compliance to the newly-imposed Health Department regulations.
Granger said she and other Association volunteers were shouldering the new tasks with enthusiasm.
“We simply cannot do the job well without the support of our wonderful community,” she said. “We not only ask people to volunteer their help and contribute donations, but to attend the party to enjoy live music, great hospitality, good food and the satisfaction of assisting the mission of the American Cancer Society.”
To volunteer or to obtain more information, contact Perky Granger at: PersisGranger@aol.com or call (352) 463-3089.