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Lions St. Patrick’s Day Dinner Draws Big Drive-Thru Crowd
Working at the food prep table, Escalon Lions Club members, clockwise from left, Tom Machado, John Largent, Chuck Sawyer, Gus Kisst and Mike Cooper put together the to-go containers for the Saturday drive-thru St. Patrick’s Day dinner. Marg Jackson/The Times

They sold out … plus 20 more.

Members of the Escalon Lions Club reported that their annual St. Patrick’s Day traditional corned beef and cabbage dinner was once again a success, even with changes due to the pandemic. The event, usually staged at the city’s Community Center, was offered this year as a drive-thru, with the meals packaged and delivered curbside.

The cooking, packaging and delivery was done at the Community Center but there was no dine in option this year. There was a table set up in the parking lot displaying the various prizes available in the evening’s drawings, with tickets sold for chances at the prizes. They also had a larger item available in a silent auction.

Officials said they were very pleased with the way the event turned out; having sold out the 200 original dinner tickets and then having to get more food earlier in the day to cook up for the late sales of 20 more dinners.

It was a smooth operation, with access to the drive-thru through the parking lot off the Arthur Road side of the Community Center, with dinner tickets taken, raffle tickets sold and meals delivered before the vehicles exited the parking lot on to Escalon Avenue.

Among those on hand to help out with the dinner was Marilyn Richardson, a new member to the Escalon Lions Club. She is not, however, new to the Lions organization; she currently serves as District 4-A1 Governor and moved to this area recently from Calaveras County.

“There are eight counties in the district,” Richardson reported. “It’s about 56 clubs, about 1,800 Lions and I visit the clubs, attend district meetings; there are 15 districts in California.”

Richardson’s district includes Amador, Calaveras, Tuolumne, Mariposa, Merced, Madera, Stanislaus and San Joaquin counties.

She has been involved in the Lions organization since 2009 and said she is happy to now be part of the Escalon club.

“It’s a great club,” she said, noting that they take the Lions Club vision of service to heart by working on a number of projects benefitting the community throughout the year.

As far as the dinner itself, Richardson was enjoying greeting many of the city’s residents and being able to introduce herself to them, as well as learn more about them.

Club members were busy all day, from starting the cooking at about 10 a.m. Saturday to organizing the various raffle prizes to getting the assembly-line style food prep in place. The meal featured corned beef, cabbage, potatoes and carrots – all traditional St. Patrick’s Day fare – and the Lions said they were able to raise a sizeable amount of funds for ongoing service projects through the drive-thru event.

There were several items available to win in the prize drawings as part of the drive-thru St. Patrick’s corned beef and cabbage dinner served up Saturday by the Escalon Lions Club, hosted at the Community Center. Marg Jackson/The Times